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Abu Dhabi, November 09, 2023

Today, Dr. Sultan Al Jaber, the President of the UN Conference on Climate Change (COP28) and Cindy McCain, the Executive Director of the World Food Programme (WFP) called for urgent action to scale up climate action in fragile and conflict-affected settings.

Their call comes ahead of the COP28 Declaration on Climate, Relief, Recovery and Peace which will seek transformative measures on the frontlines of the climate crisis and will be officially launched on 3 December at COP28.

The Global Stocktake, the first report card on the Paris Agreement, has shown that the world is off track in keeping 1.5°C degrees within reach. The repercussions are being felt in every region of the world, with the most fragile areas impacted the most.

“The COP28 Presidency is deeply committed to putting the lives and livelihoods of people at the centre of its efforts,” said Al Jaber. “COP28 will be the first COP to dedicate a day to Climate, Relief, Recovery and Peace. Climate change affects all humanity but not everyone equally.”

“As the most inclusive COP to date, we will provide a platform where all voices are heard, and no one is left behind. We are making this a priority and are calling upon all governments, private sector and regional and international organizations, to support this cause by endorsing the declaration and committing to enhanced financing, capacity strengthening and partnerships,” Al Jaber added.

In fragile and conflict-affected settings, extreme weather events affect three times as many people annually compared to other countries. Despite this, people living in extremely fragile states receive a fraction – up to 80 times less – of climate finance compared to those in non-fragile states.

While life-saving assistance following climate-related disasters is crucial, it is equally imperative to prepare and build resilience, to break out of the vicious cycle of crisis and response, particularly at a time when the humanitarian system is struggling to keep up with the pace of escalating crises. More financing must be directed to communities and countries for initiatives such as disaster preparedness and anticipatory action, as well as strengthening local systems and supporting smallholder farmers to shield those most exposed to climate shocks.

“Many of the world’s most fragile countries are those most impacted by climate change. Already ravaged by conflict, insecurity and poverty, climate change is an accelerator of humanitarian needs. The result is more hunger, more poverty, more insecurity and more migration,” said McCain. “Most of these places contributed almost nothing to climate change yet are paying the highest price. The world must come together to support those on the frontlines of this crisis – anything less is simply unacceptable.”

The COP28 Declaration on Climate, Relief, Recovery and Peace is currently garnering endorsements from governments, international and regional organizations, international financial institutions, philanthropic entities and climate, environment, development, humanitarian and peace actors. It seeks to make a collective commitment to increase climate action, investment and absorption capacity in countries and communities affected by conflict or protracted humanitarian crisis, as well as present an accompanying package of finance, policy, programmes and practices to operationalize the commitment.

Notes to Editors COP28 UAE:

• COP28 UAE will take place at Expo City Dubai from November 30-December 12, 2023. The Conference is expected to convene over 70,000 participants, including heads of state, government officials, international industry leaders, private sector representatives, academics, experts, youth, and non-state actors.

• As mandated by the Paris Climate Agreement, COP28 UAE will deliver the first ever Global Stocktake – a comprehensive evaluation of progress against climate goals.

•The UAE will lead a process for all parties to agree upon a clear roadmap to accelerate progress through a pragmatic global energy transition and a “leave no one behind” approach to inclusive climate action.


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