COP28 Peace Declaration a step in the right direction but more needed, says International Alert

Peacebuilding organisation International Alert has welcomed the COP28 Declaration on Relief, Recovery and Peace as an important step forward, while calling for more to be done to mobilise climate action in places hit by violent conflict and for new additional finance commitments to back the new initiative.

Alert welcomed the declaration’s acknowledgment that fragile states have missed out on much-needed climate finance, and that this needs to change, with financial support adapting to the needs of such contexts. But it called for stronger follow up to turn the “non-binding” declaration launched on 3 December into action, and back it with new money. Supporting locally-led, community-driven solutions would be key to unlocking the potential of climate action to support sustainable futures for both conflict-affected communities and the local and global environment.

Nic Hailey, International Alert’s Executive Director, said:   

“There is a clear link between climate breakdown and conflict. Yet the countries and communities most affected by this double crisis are often the least able to access international funding to tackle it.

“Climate finance can and should provide an opportunity to unite communities facing a shared existential challenge. Alert’s work with such communities shows that local people know what is needed to build peace and livelihoods which are more sustainable.

“The Declaration is a big step in the right direction. But it needs more than a commitment to discuss again at COP29: this needs to become a regular part of global climate negotiations. Negotiators owe it to communities hit by conflict and climate to do more, and more quickly.”

Emmy Auma, Country Director for Kenya and the Horn of Africa, said: 

“The discussions at COP28 and the UAE Declaration provide hope that the world will finally embrace conflict-sensitive climate action. Finance needs to be increased, diversified and responsive to conflict dynamics.

“Significantly increased funding should be opened up beyond traditional governmental channels that too often fail to meet local needs. For communities affected by climate-related conflict, this cannot come soon enough.”

Harriet Mackaill-Hill, Climate and Peace Advocacy Advisor, said:   

“Climate change worsens conflict and conflict impedes the fight against climate change. That is why climate action and finance need to contribute to sustainable peace.

“We welcome the Declaration, and look forward to seeing the follow up mechanisms that will ensure its legacy at COP29 and beyond. With 70% of climate vulnerable countries being at risk of or in a situation of conflict, finance pledges need to take conflict settings into account, and make sure no one is left behind.”

Notes to editors:    

  • International Alert works in climate-related conflict settings around the world, and provides practical advice and support to ensure that finance policies and practices are conflict sensitive.
  • Further information on making climate finance fit for a world in conflict is available here.
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