CCAC at COP28 - Daily Updates: 4 December

by CCAC Secretariat - 4 December, 2023
A summary of developments from 4th day of COP28, 2023


“The fact that our bodies are ecosystems and the world is an ecosystem, and everything has an impact on everything. If you poison our land, then you poison our water and you poison our air. You poison our bodies. It's astonishing to me that it has taken as long as it has to have health be a centrepiece part of the climate discussion. Because the reality is that it's killing people around the planet.” – John Kerry, U.S. Special Presidential Envoy for Climate, at the opening of the Health Day opening session.  

“8 million people now are dying every year from air pollution and 5 million of those from outdoor air pollution caused by fossil fuels. Half a million of those deaths are babies and children. And I think it's easy when we hear these statistics to let them wash over us. You know, they're big, big numbers, but, you know, we listened to them and then we forget for the people that don't forget are the families who were absolutely devastated by the quality of life of their loved ones deteriorating and ultimately their death.”-  Jane Burston, Chief Executive Officer and Founder of the Clean Air Fund at the opening of the Health Day opening session.

“If we reduce the bad quality of the air we breathe every year, we could save at least 5 million lives. The moment people connect health and climate change, I think there will be an incredible increase in the sense of urgency.” – Dr Maria Neira, Director of the Department of Public Health and Environment at the World Health Organization (WHO) released on Health Day.

The inaugural Climate and Health Ministerial took place, bringing together 100 health ministries to address health-related gaps in implementing the Paris Agreement by 2030. The Ministerial aimed to mobilise global health ministers and garner support for a climate and health action agenda. This event was part of Health Day, framed by the COP28 Declaration on Climate and Health, endorsed by over 120 countries. Additionally, over $1 billion in climate health financing was mobilised, signalling a significant commitment to addressing the intersection of climate and health on a global scale.

The Declaration emphasises incorporating health considerations into climate processes and commitments, urging a One Health approach and addressing linkages between climate factors and health issues. The declaration, though non-binding, signifies a significant shift, acknowledging the intersection of health and climate. Health experts emphasize the need for tangible outcomes in negotiations, including a commitment to fossil fuel phaseout and integrating health into global adaptation goals.  

Among other the COP28 UAE Declaration on Climate and Health recognises the urgency of taking action on climate change, and notes the benefits for health from deep, rapid, and sustained reductions in greenhouse gas emissions, including from just transitions, lower air pollution, active mobility, and shifts to sustainable healthy diets. It encourages international finance providers, including development banks, to strengthen the synergies between their climate and health portfolios, and enhance their support for country-led projects and programs in the health-climate nexus.  

Parties committed to convening regularly with diverse line ministries and stakeholders to foster synergies and strengthen national and multilateral collaboration on climate change and health, including through the Alliance for Transformative Action on Climate and Health (ATACH) initiative. ATACH will work to realize the COP26 ambition of building climate-resilient and sustainable health systems, leveraging the collective power of WHO Member States and other stakeholders to move this agenda forward at a rapid and scaled-up pace, and promoting the integration of climate change and health nexus into respective national, regional, and global plans.

During discussions on the Paris Agreement Article 6.4 mechanism, parties debated draft decision text, particularly focusing on emission avoidance and conservation enhancement activities. In joint consultations on Article 6.2 and Article 6.4, parties discussed connecting registries, differing on whether the purpose should be for tracking, enabling transfer, or pulling and viewing data. There was consensus on the need for a connection between the mechanism and international registries to facilitate the transfer of authorised Article 6.4 emission reductions, but opinions varied on the flow of unauthorised emissions to national registries. 

Methane Moment with Jane Burston of Clean Air Fund
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