Climate risk management for international organizations

Think tank: Chatham House

Author(s): Oli Brown; Taylor Dimsdale

June 25, 2021

This report from UK think tank Chatham House looks at ideas for improving strategic planning.

Most international organizations were not designed to deal with the consequences of climate change. An overhaul of risk management, taking specific account of climate-related risks, is therefore needed to ensure the continued operational effectiveness of UN bodies and other agencies. Climate change is likely to have profound impacts on such organizations in the future: increasing demand for their services, undermining programme implementation, and hindering their ability to fulfil their mandates. This paper is an attempt to ‘climate stress test’ the international system and provide an early measure of its level of preparedness for climate change. The paper maps the current climate risk approaches of roughly two dozen international organizations, based on a review of official documents as well as on interviews with their staff. The paper offers recommendations for how international organizations can continue to achieve their missions by strengthening their climate risk management frameworks.