MSF commitments to reducing our footprint, adapting our operations and bearing witness.

MSF Environmental (2017) and Climate Motions (2019) 

In 2017, MSF’s international general assembly urged the organization to delve into and champion measures that build tangible skills and knowledge concerning the health and humanitarian impacts of environmental degradation and MSF’s environmental footprint. Reinforcing this commitment in 2019, MSF acknowledged the climate emergency, emphasizing its urgency. The organization resolved to adjust its operations, minimize its environmental impact, and actively advocate on climate change and its health implications.

MSF Environmental pact

MSF recognizes the profound impact of environmental change on human health and its medical and humanitarian consequences, as well as our contribution towards it. Through the MSF Environmental Pact adopted in 2020, we have collectively committed to addressing the climate crisis through changes in our humanitarian practice, research, collaborations, and communications.

The Pact contains five key commitments:

  • Measure, report and set targets to minimize our carbon and waste footprint
  • Adapt our responses
  • Engage and collaborate with communities, local actors, and organizations. Develop partnerships to share medical-operational data
  • Bear witness to the health and humanitarian effects of climate change in the communities we work with
  • Hold ourselves accountable

MSF Carbon emissions target 

MSF commits to reduce carbon emissions to help safeguard the most vulnerable: In 2022 MSF made a public commitment to reduce its carbon emissions by 50 per cent by 2030 (against a 2019 baseline) aligned with science-based targets.

“Human health will be increasingly damaged by the negative consequences of the climate emergency,” says Dr. Christos Christou, MSF international president. “It is not enough to respond to health problems when they arise. We have to do our part to prevent them from happening in the first place. Failing to act now would mean breaking our medical and ethical obligations towards patients and communities.”

Humanitarian Climate Charter 

“Building on MSF’s 2020 Environmental Pact, we recognize the need to make real and immediate changes to help curb the health impacts of climate change, including by collaborating with communities and other organizations. This is why we pledged to drastically reduce our emissions in this decade and why we are joining the nearly 200 humanitarian organizations who have signed the Climate and Environment Charter for Humanitarian Organizations.” – MSF, March 2022

The Climate Charter, led by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) aims to foster a strong commitment to climate action across the humanitarian community, to guide the humanitarian sector’s approach to the increasing risks resulting from climate change, and to address its own carbon and environmental footprint.

“The climate and environmental crises are humanitarian crises, threatening the future of humanity. They are already affecting people’s lives and livelihoods around the world, and their impact is growing all the time. While these crises are affecting all of us, those most affected by their consequences are the poorest and most marginalized communities, whose capacity to adapt is already strained, owing to armed conflict, displacement, weak governance, unplanned urbanization, or poverty. All is exacerbated by structural inequities and by people’s individual characteristics, such as age, gender, disability, or livelihood.”-MSF