Guiding Principles respond to low- and middle-income countries’ calls to mobilize finance to save lives now and in the future as the climate crisis threatens global health
A consortium of multilateral development banks and funders, countries and philanthropies today published the Guiding Principles for Financing Climate and Health Solutions (“Guiding Principles”), announced 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 Organization and the ATACH Working Group on Financing, and in consultation with over 50 financing partners and civil society organizations. The Guiding Principles have been endorsed by 41 organizations, with more expected following COP28.
Funding for mitigation and adaptation at the climate-health intersection falls well short of need. While over 90% of countries include health priorities in their Nationally Determined Contributions (the self-defined national climate pledges under the Paris Agreement), only 0.5% 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 mobilize 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; and
- 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 mobilization of financing is needed to combat these impacts, which to date have been under-recognized and under-funded,” said Adnan Amin, CEO of COP28. “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. The Guiding Principles were drafted by the five initiating parties, revised following consultations with over 50 stakeholders, and ultimately endorsed by 41 agencies (as of 1 December 2023) representing the public, private, and philanthropic sectors.
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.
“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 Dr Tedros Ghebreyesus, Director-General, World Health Organization.
“International cooperation is essential to ensuring healthy, resilient communities in vulnerable regions grappling with the effects of climate change. The Green Climate Fund is a proud partner and signatory to the Guiding Principles, which are an important framework for coalescing partners around strategies to mobilize more finance for climate-informed health investments in countries that need them the most,” said Mafalda Duarte, Executive Director, Green Climate Fund.
“Adaptation is an imperative for today, not tomorrow, as climate change is challenging our ability to deliver sustainable impact. The Global Fund is joining other global funders in prioritizing country-driven efforts to address environmental health threats,” said Peter Sands, Executive Director, The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria.
“The world’s health systems need to be transformed to ensure people can not only survive the climate crisis, but live, work, and prosper how and where they want. The Guiding Principles will accelerate the coordinated action needed to deliver not just more funding, but the better-quality funding necessary for health systems transformation. We are proud to endorse these Principles and are committed to leveraging our resources to protect the health of people and the planet,” said Dr Rajiv J Shah, President, The Rockefeller Foundation.
“The Adaptation Fund is pleased to endorse the Guiding Principles for Financing Climate and Health Solutions. With more than 3 billion people worldwide highly vulnerable to climate change and facing increased health risks, it is imperative to accelerate adaptation measures that build healthy, resilient communities and protect people from a range of climate risks to health. We are committed to supporting the most vulnerable to adapt to climate change through country-driven and locally led action, and already fund projects that are improving access to clean water, hygiene, food security, reducing climate risks and building resilience and healthy lives at the same time. We need to scale this up to address urgent global adaptation needs, and we hope these Principles will help strengthen that ambition on the ground,” said Mr Mikko Ollikainen, Head, Adaptation Fund.
“Climate change is a public health emergency that can no longer be ignored. Health has become the human face of climate change. The Guiding Principles are a pivotal and timely stride to improve financing at the intersection of climate and health, in line with netFWD’s priorities,” said Bathylle Missika, Head of Division, Gender, Philanthropy & Partnerships, OECD Development Centre, Network of Foundations.
Alphabetical list of endorsing organizations as of 1 December 2023
- Adaptation Fund
- Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention
- The Africa Climate Foundation
- African Development Bank Group
- Amazon Conservation Team Columbia
- Amref Health Africa
- Asia Venture Philanthropy Network
- Belmont Forum
- Children’s Investment Fund Foundation
- Clara Lionel Foundation
- Clean Air Fund
- Clinton Health Access Initiative
- Commonwealth Secretariat
- COP28 Presidency
- European Investment Bank
- Foundation S – The Sanofi Collective
- Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance
- Global Climate and Health Alliance
- Global Environment Facility
- The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria
- Government of the United Kingdom, Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office
- Green Climate Fund
- Health Care Without Harm
- The Hong Kong Jockey Club’s Institute of Philanthropy
- IMPACT Europe
- International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies
- Kingdom of Norway, Ministry of Foreign Affairs
- OECD Development Centre, Network of Foundations
- Pandemic Action Network
- Reaching the Last Mile
- Republic of Malawi, Ministry of Health
- Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
- The Rockefeller Foundation
- Save the Children
- Seed Global Health
- Wellcome Trust
- World Bank Group
- World Health Organization
COP28 UAE is taking place at Expo City Dubai, 30 November – 12 December 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.
About The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria
The Global Fund is a worldwide partnership to defeat HIV, TB and malaria and ensure a healthier, safer, more equitable future for all. We raise and invest more than US$ 5 billion a year to fight the deadliest infectious diseases, challenge the injustice that fuels them, and strengthen health systems and pandemic preparedness in more than 100 of the hardest hit countries. We unite world leaders, communities, civil society, health workers and the private sector to find solutions that have the most impact, and we take them to scale worldwide. Since 2002, the Global Fund partnership has saved 59 million lives.
About the Green Climate Fund
The Green Climate Fund (GCF) is the world’s largest dedicated climate fund. GCF’s mandate is to foster a paradigm shift towards low emission, climate-resilient development pathways in developing countries. GCF has a portfolio of USD 13.5 billion (USD 51.8 billion including co-financing) delivering transformative climate action in more than 120 countries.
It also has a readiness support programme that builds capacity and helps countries develop long-term plans to fight climate change. GCF is an operating entity of the financial mechanism of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and serves the 2015 Paris Agreement, supporting the goal of keeping average global temperature rise well below 2°C.
About The Rockefeller Foundation
The Rockefeller Foundation is a pioneering philanthropy built on collaborative partnerships at the frontiers of science, technology, and innovation that enable individuals, families, and communities to flourish. We make big bets to promote the well-being of humanity. Today, we are focused on advancing human opportunity and reversing the climate crisis by transforming systems in food, health, energy, and finance.
About the World Health Organization
Dedicated to the well-being of all people and guided by science, the World Health Organization leads and champions global efforts to give everyone, everywhere an equal chance at a safe and healthy life. We are the UN agency for health that connects nations, partners and people on the front lines in 150+ locations – leading the world’s response to health emergencies, preventing disease, addressing the root causes of health issues and expanding access to medicines and health care. Our mission is to promote health, keep the world safe and serve the vulnerable.
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