Humanitarian assistance has significant implications for local economies and the environment.
Most refugee and internal displacement camps are in remote locations, so humanitarian agencies consume large amounts of fuel on the transport of staff, equipment, and goods such as food and water.
Operations tend to rely on on-site electricity generation to power reception centres, clinics, schools, food storage, water-pumping and street lighting. Despite the essential role of energy in humanitarian action, and the UN's stated commitment to carbon neutrality by 2020, there is no concerted effort to move away from fossil fuel to date.
As humanitarian crises become more protracted and aid budgets face unprecedented scrutiny, agencies could save millions by switching from diesel and oil fuels to cleaner energy sources.