Saturday, October 28, 2023

Urgent Challenges for COP28: Climate Change and Conflict in the Middle East


As the world faces the devastating impacts of climate change, it is crucial to respond to this rapidly transforming world. The 28th Conference of the Parties, or COP28, hosted by the UAE, is a global gathering that aims to address the complex interplay between climate resilience and conflict-affected regions. A recent policy report released jointly by the International Committee of the Red Cross and the Norwegian Red Cross sheds light on the alarming exacerbation of humanitarian needs in the region. The report emphasizes that climate change is not solely an environmental issue but a significant threat to human security, further exacerbating existing vulnerabilities.

The report sheds light on the formidable barriers faced in accessing multilateral climate finance for state-led adaptation projects in conflict-affected countries. To overcome these obstacles, climate financing must be effectively channeled to countries grappling with conflict. The report presents compelling instances that highlight how deliberate acts of environmental degradation can heighten the immediate jeopardy faced by significant population groups.

Dalton emphasized that climate financing must be effectively channeled to countries grappling with conflict. The outcome she hopes to see from COP28 in the UAE is that “climate financing is better directed to countries experiencing conflict in ways that they can practically apply and use.” Dalton advocates for the collaboration of all sectors of society, emphasizing the necessity for concerted efforts in order to develop tangible, implementable solutions.

De Jong proposes a paradigm shift in climate financing, with a renewed focus on prioritizing conflict-affected nations. A global pact that includes actionable solutions such as streamlined application procedures, adjusted eligibility criteria for conflict-affected actors, and increased flexibility in project locations could drive progress in climate adaptation efforts.

With the presidency of COP28, the UAE aims to create a platform that brings together various actors to collectively explore solutions. De Jong stresses the need to leverage existing momentum for change, emphasizing that COP28 is a stepping stone toward addressing these complex issues comprehensively.

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