COP 28: A historic funding pledge marks a decisive move towards addressing climate and biodiversity challenges, signalling a united effort for a sustainable future
During the World Climate Action Summit, the COP28 Presidency and its partners presented a series of new and ambitious initiatives, with an initial commitment of $1.7 billion in financing, to meet climate and biodiversity goals simultaneously. President Lula da Silva and the COP28 Presidency also announced a two-year partnership to mobilise new resources and political support for nature on the road to COP30 in Belém.
H.E. Razan Khalifa Al Mubarak, the UN Climate Change High-Level Champion for COP28, stated that "ensuring that nature in its total and most holistic form is recognised, supported, and funded as a prerequisite to climate action has been a priority for the COP28 Presidency." She added, "This remarkable political leadership, coupled with support and finance from non-state actors, is a testament to the fundamental role of nature, not just for this COP but for all future COPs to come."
In the session, heads of state and government unveiled national and regional investment plans and partnerships focused on nature-climate action to deliver on the Paris Agreement and the recently adopted Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework.
Various world leaders and organisations have announced new investments in nature and climate projects. H.E. Razan Al Mubarak, UN Climate Change High-Level Champion for COP28, announced that the UAE is investing $100 million in these projects, with an initial $30 million going to Ghana's "Resilient Ghana" plan.
Ghanaian President Nana Akufo-Addo launched this plan and has received additional support from Canada, Singapore, the United States of America, and the LEAF Coalition.
The Prime Minister of Tonga, Siaosi' Ofakivahafolau Sovaleni, announced $100 million of finance for Pacific Small Island Developing States (P-SIDS) to protect 30 percent of their waters and exclusive economic zones by 2030. This is part of the "Unlocking the Blue Pacific Prosperity Plan."
Philanthropic organisations, including Bloomberg Philanthropies, Builders Vision, and Ocean Kind, have announced $250 million of new finance under the Ocean Resilience Climate Alliance (ORCA) to protect vulnerable marine areas, ocean-based mitigation efforts, and research on climate impacts.
President Emmanuel Macron has recently unveiled financial support for forest finance initiatives in three countries. Under this, the Republic of Congo, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and Papua New Guinea will receive targeted private funding for conservation and local development facilitated through verifiable carbon credit transactions.
Indonesian President Joko Widodo and Norwegian Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Store have announced a $100 million partnership to support Indonesia's FOLU Net Sink 2030 plan, an initiative to reduce emissions and increase carbon storage.
The Nature Finance Hub is a new initiative launched by the Asian Development Bank and the OPEC Fund, Saudi Arabia, AFD, France, and the ASEAN Catalytic Green Finance Facility at the Green Climate Fund. The Hub has committed to mobilising $1 billion from development partners and another $2 billion in private finance capital by 2030 to fund nature-focused climate projects.
These nature-climate plans also drive progress on previous commitments, including COP26's Glasgow Leaders' Declaration, which saw 145 countries agree to halt and reverse forest loss and land degradation by 2030, as well as the landmark Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework decided last December, which saw 196 countries agree on a common framework to halt total nature loss by 2030.
Addressing nature loss can save $104 billion in adaptation costs and has the potential to provide upwards of 30 percent of the CO2 mitigation action needed by 2030.
Additionally, as around 50 percent of global GDP is directly or indirectly dependent on nature and other ecosystem services, the conservation and restoration of natural ecosystems support economic prosperity, with the potential to create nearly 395 billion more jobs and to protect 1 billion people whose livelihoods are directly dependent on nature.
The leaders, including María José Andrade Cerda from the Kichwa de During the recent event, Serena, the Indigenous Peoples of Ecuador, emphasised the crucial role played by Indigenous communities in preserving ecosystems.
The world's remaining biodiversity is safeguarded by communities that comprise only 5 percent of the global population. The development and knowledge of these communities will be a focal point of the UAE-Brazil COP28-to-COP30 partnership.
The event was inaugurated by elders from seven socio-cultural regions, who, alongside scientist Johan Rockström, highlighted the urgency behind the announcements.