Climate, environment, and energy

Farmer in ethiopia working on her crops
Manase and her husband grow teff, maize, and sorghum to support their seven children. During the dry season in Ale, Ethiopia, the rivers are low and Manase must dig through sand until she hits water.

Climate change is a devastating force, leading to a hungrier and more vulnerable world. It destabilises economies, fuels conflict, cripples productivity, and weakens social structures. At Mercy Corps, we work with the people and communities who are on the frontlines of the climate crisis, and those at the forefront of climate innovation, to find a sustainable way forward together.

The most vulnerable people in the world are disproportionately exposed to extreme weather events, more reliant on natural resources, and least able to cope with, and adapt to, negative environmental impacts. When farmers suffer from drought, communities face devastating floods year after year, or entrepreneurs don’t have sustainable electricity to power their businesses, more complex crises arise.

Addressing the underlying challenges of climate change, water security, natural resource management, and access to energy is critical to supporting people in fragile places to adapt their lives to new risks, while transforming communities and economies over time. That’s why we focus on climate solutions that deliver practical, meaningful change at the local level, then mobilise our global team to identify opportunities for scaling and replication worldwide.

  • 5.9m

    people through our climate-related work in 2023
  • 90%

    of all natural disasters between 1998-2017 were climate-related
  • 860m

    people without access to reliable electricity
  • 850m

    people without access to safe drinking water

Mercy Corps acts as a connector between siloed forces for change, helping government at all levels create policies and plans, while uniting local communities, forward-thinking corporations, and social entrepreneurs to achieve more than each could do alone. And while the countries where we work are not the leading contributors to climate change, we are working to ensure that green growth is prioritised as these countries develop economically.

Mercy Corps’ approach to low-carbon development is rooted in innovative, market-based energy programming that both reduces emissions and supports livelihoods. We’re doing this work with an eye on our own environmental impact. In 2021, Mercy Corps committed to cut its carbon footprint in half by 2030 and initiated several policy guidelines and commitments to reduce our carbon emissions, like powering field offices and operations with clean energy. We’ve also developed a centralised tracking system to monitor, track, and measure our global emissions.

Track our progress in reducing our carbon footprint where we work

In September 2021, Mercy Corps merged with Energy 4 Impact to create more opportunities to increase energy access and use for the communities that need them most, and to integrate energy into sectors such as agricultural development, economic growth, youth employment, humanitarian recovery, and climate resilience.

To learn more about our work, please visit our case study library or download our approach documents below:

Mercy Corps and Energy 4 Impact join forces to scale impact
Woman carrying solar panel