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What is Tearfund doing to address the climate crisis?

The climate crisis threatens the natural balance of the world. More frequent storms, droughts and floods mean crops ruined, people going hungry, and children missing out on education. To tackle it, we must radically rethink the global economy and live within the limits of our environment. 

Tearfund is committed to relief and development that is environmentally and economically sustainable – finding effective ways to support sustainable livelihoods while at the same time protecting or improving the environment, and reducing economic inequality.

Our impact

Our Approach

As a Christian organisation, our theology inspires us to care for creation and work towards a world where every person’s basic needs are met, where all human beings have a chance to flourish and where we all live within our environmental limits. We work towards this aim in three main ways, as outlined below.

Advocacy and influencing

We are committed to speaking out in the public sphere and influencing policymakers in order to change policies and public opinion through networking, resourcing, influencing and leading by example.

Making environmental and economic sustainability a priority

We prioritise making all of our programmes environmentally and economically sustainable. For example, by creating green jobs that are economically sustainable, using finite resources in the most sustainable ways while protecting or restoring the environment, and reducing local inequalities.

Ensuring Tearfund is ‘walking the talk’ globally 

We have an Environmental Policy to guide our actions both internally and externally, to adhere to all legal requirements, and demonstrate integrity in our actions.

Our focus

Waste management

Research suggests that as much as 40 per cent of the world’s waste could be being burned on open fires, releasing smoke and toxins directly into the air. These toxins are then breathed in or ingested after settling on crops or being consumed by domestic livestock.

These toxic fumes have been estimated to cause 270,000 premature deaths globally each year. However, a holistic approach to waste management could stop the use of this harmful practice, preventing further damage to the health of populations and to our climate.

Renewable energy

Investing in clean, renewable energy is an opportunity to tackle both climate change and poverty. It’s an injustice that more than one billion people do not have electricity and more than two billion people still use firewood, charcoal and dung to cook.

Off-grid electricity, like solar and small-scale hydropower, often provides people with electricity for the first time. It can improve health, air quality, women’s empowerment, safety, education, and open up opportunities for new sources of income, savings and setting up small enterprises.

Sustainable farming

Good agricultural practice is key to achieving environmental sustainability as it is crucial that we find ways for farming to adapt and thrive under climate change. We use ‘climate-smart agriculture’ which is a range of farming techniques that sustainably increase productivity while reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

Case study

Our environment and climate work: in-depth

You can find out more about why and how we focus on each of these key areas on our partner website, Tearfund Learn. Tearfund Learn provides free access to our research and resources from over 50 years of experience in international development.

Read more on Tearfund Learn

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