COP28 has announced its Declaration on Climate, Recovery, Relief and Peace.

During COP28’s thematic day for Relief, Recovery and Peace, the first within 28 years, a new declaration has been released that will ultimately work towards helping countries and their communities that are most at risk of the impacts that climate change imposes. Currently, 70 countries have signed the declaration, along with 39 international organisations.

The declaration states that those countries that have signed, have agreed to increase climate adaptation efforts and increase the finance that is accessible to those living in areas that are fragile, susceptible to conflict, or those who live with insecurities and severe humanitarian needs.

Signatories should now be planning ways to quickly scale up climate resilience worldwide, especially in areas where the most vulnerable individuals and communities reside. Therefore, Least Developed Countries and Small Island Developing States must be prioritised.

The COP28 declaration is a continuation of the promise that ‘No one gets left behind’, that is part of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, as well as the 2015 Paris Agreement, and United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. This declaration should improve the efforts already set out, as it further strengthens the idea that those in areas that face conflict, fragility, or need foreign aid should be the priority.

In many of these cases, the people that are affected the most are usually at higher risk from the negative impacts of climate change. These are the same people that have usually had the least contribution to climate change.

According to the UN, there has been an 800% rise in climate related needs that have been a part of humanitarian appeals. Worryingly this rise has occurred within the last 20 years, and without an increase in climate action, finance, and the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions this figure will continue to increase.

Andrew Mitchell, the UK’s Minister of State for Development and Africa has announced that the UK will be setting aside £100 million of funding considering the new declaration. Upon the announcement of the funding, he stated that:

“These funding commitments will help countries and people be better prepared
and protected against extreme weather events and natural disasters. The UK will
continue to press for a bold and ambitious approach to support those on the frontline
of our changing climate, and to create a safer planet for us all.”

In regards to the US, they have committed to add $3 billion to the Green Climate Fund, the fund was put in place to help those in developing countries to combat climate change through action. This $3 billion will now be added to the $2 billion the US have already contributed.

Vice President of the US, Kamala Harris stated:

“Today, I am proud to announce a new $3 billion pledge to the
Green Climate Fund which helps developing countries invest in resilience,
clean energy, and nature-based solutions.”

It is important to note that this declaration from COP28 is not legally binding and is seen as a voluntary call to action for those that have signed it.


Relief, Recovery and Peace

This is the first time that Relief, Recovery and Peace has been discussed at COP28, the European Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management, Janez Lenarčič addressed COP28 and said:

“I thank the UAE Presidency for organising the first of its kind thematic day. This
will be an outstanding opportunity for bringing dire humanitarian consequences
of climate change to the forefront of the international community. At a time of unprecedented humanitarian needs and a growing funding gap, the EU will continue
to mobilise for international support also for the most vulnerable in order to be able to withstand the devastating effects of climate change and not to plunge deeper into aid dependency only to survive. That is why during this COP I will be advocating for the EU most strongly for rapid and efficient joint action by humanitarian, development and peace actors to build sustainable solutions for the most vulnerable communities, in particular of those in fragile and conflict settings. Jointly tapping into broadest possible sources of finance to help build up local climate resilience is the only way we can rescue vulnerable populations from the cycle of disasters, fragility and aid dependency.”

For further information and up to date news on COP28 and its themes, please see our COP28 Focus homepage where you can access all of our guides, news, and reports from the event.