Today, COP28 has inaugurated thematic days i.e., daily programming focusing on key issues interrelated with climate change, and Day 4 centred on ‘Health / Relief, Recovery, & Peace’. Stakeholders from various backgrounds and sectors united to unpack how climate change affects human health and discuss opportunities for health-centric climate action. The agenda also encompassed fortifying health systems against climate challenges, implementing adaptation measures to address the health impacts of climate change, and fostering collaboration at the intersection of health and relief, recovery, and peace. On Day 4, 74 countries endorsed the COP28 UAE Declaration on Climate Relief, Recovery and Peace. Also, 40 international organisations and 123 countries have endorsed the COP28 UAE Declaration on Climate Heath. This is since WHO estimates 7 million deaths could be attributed to air pollution alone.
Negotiations in Dubai continue after a flurry of initial international pledges from the past few days. For example, parties continue to negotiate the terms of the Global Stocktake (GST) outcomes. The role of fossil fuels in the net zero transition continues to be emphasized across climate action discourse. It is clear that: the outcomes of COP28, and the inclusion of decisive language on emissions reductions, will affect the trajectory of the global fossil fuel industry and further propel the global shift towards sustainability-conscious investments.
Dr. Sultan Al Jaber
UAE Special Envoy for Climate Change, and
Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology
Key announcements (03 December 2023)
Experts emphasize the need for early warning systems as an essential component of climate adaptation to protect human health. Building on the UN’s ‘Early Warnings for All’ initiative, launched last year with an aim to establish early warning systems globally by 2027, the UN reported today that 101 countries have adopted early warning systems equipped to protect people from the hazardous impacts of extreme weather events, doubling since 2015. Progress has been made in countries such as the Maldives, Laos, Benin, and Fiji. Despite this, substantial efforts are still required to fill gaps in meteorological forecasting capabilities and communications infrastructure across developing nations. To further bolster these crucial systems, additional funding commitments have been made totalling USD 20.31 million - with France announcing contributions of EUR 8 million (~USD 8.71 million) annually, Denmark EUR 5.4 million (~USD 5.9 million), and Sweden EUR 5.3 million (~USD 5.7 million) to the ‘Climate Risk and Early Warning Systems Initiative’.
Chronic human health impacts from climate change, including infectious (e.g., tropical) diseases, air pollution, malnutrition, and heat stress, were discussed across ‘Health Day’ programming, ultimately leading to several commitments to address these issues. Countries and global donors have pledged over USD 777 million to the Reaching the Last Mile Fund to address the risk of neglected tropical diseases faced by over 1.6 billion people. Notably, the UAE committed USD 100 million to support 39 African countries and Yemen in the fight against river blindness and lymphatic filariasis. These contributions will assist many nations in combatting preventable diseases, freeing up human capital potential and policymaking agendas to address other issues such as climate change.
Ten of the world’s major development banks have signed a joint statement to increase efforts to support climate action. The banks will agree upon a universal approach to tracking and reporting climate impacts, scale up private and public capital for green projects (e.g., disaster risk management and preparedness), provide additional technical expertise to countries, and strengthen collaboration across health, nature, water, and gender. However, the statement does not mention any exclusions around fossil fuel project financing.
Former US Secretary Hillary Clinton, speaking at a panel on women and climate resiliency, underscored the challenges faced by lower-income workers (e.g., women) in climate-affected regions, and called for reforms of the global insurance sector to address escalating climate physical risks. Former Vice President Al Gore also called upon the fossil fuel industry to take further actions to curb methane emissions and combat climate change and announced a tool to measure emissions across supply chains.
The Blue Mediterranean Partnership announced yesterday its intent to mobilize at least EUR 1 billion (~USD 1.1 billion) to support the transition to a sustainable blue (i.e., ocean) economy in the Mediterranean region, starting in 2024 – with donations announced by various European institutions. Egypt, Jordan, and Morocco will be the initial beneficiary countries.
- https://carbon-pulse.com/21694/; https://carbon-pulse.com/241628/