05 December 2023

Declaration on Climate, Relief, Recovery and Peace launched at COP28

Past Sunday, 3 December, marked the Climate, Health, Recovery and Peace Day at COP28 where the UAE secretariat launched a declaration calling for:

‘’bolder collective action to build climate resilience at the scale and speed required in highly vulnerable countries and communities, particularly those threatened or affected by fragility or conflict, or facing severe humanitarian needs, many of which are the Least Developed Countries and Small Island Developing States.

We stress that an ambitious, immediate scale up of enhanced support is urgently needed in such situations, including financial resources; technical and institutional capacities; local, national, regional partnerships; and data and information, recognizing the importance of complementarity and predictability.’’

This declaration marks a clear integration of a climate security perspective into the agenda of the COP procedure. As we have written last week, we observe a strong increase in events relating climate impact and conflict at this year’s COP.

The declaration commits to 15 points covering:

  1. enhanced financial support for climate adaptation and resilience
  2. understanding and improving good practices and programming
  3. strengthening coordination, collaboration, and partnerships

The declaration was signed by 40 organisations and 74 countries, including the United States, China, France, Germany and the Netherlands.

At this year's summit, the Peace@COP28 group is a collective that recognises the relationship between climate action and sustainable peace. The group includes organisations such as OXFAM, PAX, and the Institute for Climate & Peace. They have drafted a joint response praising the declaration, but also urging consisteny:

‘’We welcome the UAE COP28 Declaration on Climate, Relief, Recovery and Peace. This is a very timely moment to highlight the mutually reinforcing intersection between conflicts and the climate crisis, and the lack of finance reaching those affected by the double burden. We hope that it provides much needed momentum.

We would however like to see mechanisms be put in place to guarantee this is not a one-shot occurrence, that this is just the beginning, and the Declaration will be carried into COP29 and beyond. We want to see the Declaration have a legacy.’’

In the run-up towards the conference, Peace@COP28 collectively drafted a set of policy demands, urging decision makers to reflect in their commitments and pledges. They recommend:

  1. application of conflict sensitivity to climate action and climate finance
  2. regulation of business in fragile and conflict-affected settings
  3. mitigation of climate and environmental impacts of military and security-sector actors
Photo credit: UN Climate Change/ Mahmoud Khaled