41 funders, partners endorse new guiding principles for financing climate, solutions to protect health

A consortium of multilateral development banks and funders, countries and philanthropies yesterday published the Guiding Principles for Financing Climate and Health Solutions at the World Climate Action Summit during the 28th session of Conference of Parties to the UNFCCC (COP28) in Dubai.

The Guiding Principles establish a shared vision for financing that will rapidly reduce greenhouse gas emissions to improve health, protect people from the range of climate risks to health, and build resilient, environmentally sustainable health systems.

The Guiding Principles were developed by the COP28 Presidency in collaboration with The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria, The Green Climate Fund, The Rockefeller Foundation, The World Health Organisation (WHO) and the ATACH Working Group on Financing, and in consultation with over 50 financing partners and civil society organisations. The Guiding Principles have been endorsed by 41 organisations, with more expected to follow suit.

Funding for mitigation and adaptation at the climate-health intersection falls well short of need. While over 90 per cent of countries include health priorities in their Nationally Determined Contributions (the self-defined national climate pledges under the Paris Agreement), only 0.5 per cent of multilateral climate funding is allocated to projects that explicitly address human health – and likewise, global health funders have not integrated action to address climate change into their investments.

The Guiding Principles build coherence and foster collaboration across funders to accelerate the allocation of finance for the countries and communities that need it most.

The Guiding Principles acknowledge critical elements of accessible and effective financing and the need to mobilise additional funds for climate and health solutions. Key pillars of the Guiding Principles include:

  • Accelerating transformative climate and health solutions to save and improve lives now and in the future.
  • Creating equitable, inclusive, accessible, and holistic approaches to climate and health financing and solutions.
  • Building the core policymaking and implementation capacities of countries, communities, and financing institutions to deliver climate and health solutions.

“Climate change is increasing health risks in every region of the world, including millions more people at risk of heat-related illness, food insecurity, infectious diseases, and poverty. A significant mobilisation of financing is needed to combat these impacts, which to date have been under-recognised and under-funded,” said Adnan Amin, COP28 chief executive officer.

“The COP28 Guiding Principles for Financing Climate and Health Solutions is the critical first step to address this, bringing new funders to the table in recognition of the urgent need. We are grateful for our partners stepping up to deliver finance where it is needed most.”

The Guiding Principles build on existing development finance principles and mechanisms, including the Addis Ababa Action Agenda, Paris Climate Agreement, and The Bridgetown Initiative, to support a global policy agenda that will advance the aims of countries most affected by climate change.

It was drafted by the five initiating parties, revised following consultations with over 50 stakeholders, and ultimately endorsed by 41 agencies (as of Dec 1).

The initiating parties have committed to continued collaboration to ensure implementation and accountability in partnership with leaders of countries most affected by climate change and representatives from civil society.

WHO director-general Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said climate change is one the biggest threats to human health – and communities need support to survive it.

“Rethinking development will help countries access much-needed resources to save lives in a warming world for generations to come,” said Ghebreyesus.

COP28 UAE is taking place at Expo City Dubai (Nov 30-Dec 12). The Conference will see the participation of 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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