Onno Rühl, General Manager of AKAH, helps steer AKDN’s climate work. 


With floods, avalanches, heatwaves and droughts becoming more frequent, the people with whom AKDN work are increasingly exposed to the effects of climate change.

Onno Rühl, who sits on the AKDN Environment and Climate Committee, helps steer the Network’s climate mitigation and adaptation work. He is General Manager of the Aga Khan Agency for Habitat (AKAH), leading its creation in 2016 to help vulnerable communities prepare for and respond to natural disasters and the effects of climate change. In the first of our series exploring AKDN’s environment work, he discusses how conveying urgency without despair, and modelling sustainable development, can motivate change.

AKAH’s volunteer community emergency response team put up tents in Immit Village, Ghizer, Pakistan, to house those displaced by the 2022 floods. 


But there are so many things that have been universally reported and accepted as the consequences of climate change. At COP27, everybody had the Pakistan floods in mind and they realised that this is not the future. This is now. So the first step in creating a loss and damage fund was agreed, and in Dubai we’ll see whether anybody puts money in it.