Posted December 8, 2023
By Kevon Wilson
6 Minutes Read
Summary of COP28 – Day 4: The First COP Health Day
Inauguration of Health Day: Day 4 of COP28 marked the first-ever Health Day at the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change conference. This day, in collaboration with the World Health Organization, focused on showcasing the links between climate change impacts and human health, and exploring adaptation measures to address these impacts.
Debate on Fossil Fuel Phase-Out: Tensions continued around the commitment to either “phase out” or “phase down” fossil fuels. COP28 President Al Jaber expressed skepticism about the feasibility of a complete phase-out of fossil fuels for achieving the 1.5C target. In contrast, UN Secretary-General António Guterres criticized the Day 3 pledges by oil and gas companies as insufficient, particularly regarding the elimination of emissions from fossil fuel consumption.
Taskforce on Net-Zero Policy: The UN’s High Level Expert Group on Net-Zero Emissions Commitments of Non-State Entities launched a Taskforce on Net-Zero Policy. This taskforce, comprising various international agencies, aims to ensure the credibility and accountability of net-zero commitments.
$1.7 Billion in New Initiatives: During the World Climate Action Summit, governments and organizations announced $1.7 billion in new initiatives to further climate and biodiversity goals. This includes a $1 billion contribution from a coalition led by the Asian Development Bank.
Business & Philanthropy Climate Forum Developments: On Day Two of the Forum, leaders made pledges and announcements on renewable energy, green economy programs, nature preservation, methane abatement, and initiatives to decarbonize health supply chains.
Energy Transition Accelerator (ETA): The U.S. Department of State, the Bezos Earth Fund, and The Rockefeller Foundation presented the framework of the ETA, a carbon finance platform to support energy transition in developing and emerging economies.
Implications for Businesses: The health impacts of climate change are expected to increase, influencing more stringent methods to address greenhouse gas emissions. The developments of COP28 Health Day provide context for this trend in climate action. The ETA offers opportunities for private companies to support energy transition in developing and emerging economies.
Leve Global’s Comments on Day 4
As Leve Global, deeply committed to the sustainable development and resilience of Small Island Developing States (SIDS) like those in the Caribbean, we view the events of COP28 Day 4 with a mix of appreciation and critical concern. The inauguration of the first-ever Health Day is a commendable step in highlighting the often-overlooked link between climate change and human health. However, we believe that the discussions and commitments still fall short of addressing the unique health challenges faced by SIDS due to climate change.
The ongoing debate about whether to “phase out” or “phase down” fossil fuels is particularly troubling for us. While global leaders debate semantics and strategies, our communities in the Caribbean are already experiencing the direct health impacts of climate change, such as increased vector-borne diseases, heat-related illnesses, and the mental health effects of climate-induced disasters. The lack of a decisive and ambitious stance on fossil fuel reduction not only undermines global efforts to mitigate climate change but also directly threatens the health and survival of vulnerable populations in SIDS.
Furthermore, the launch of the Taskforce on Net-Zero Policy, though a step towards ensuring accountability in emissions commitments, does not immediately translate into tangible benefits for SIDS. Our islands need immediate and concrete actions, not just long-term pledges. The focus on net-zero commitments often overlooks the immediate adaptation and mitigation needs of SIDS, which are crucial for protecting our communities’ health and well-being.
The announcement of $1.7 billion in new initiatives for climate and biodiversity is a positive development, but we question how much of this funding will be directed towards health-related climate adaptation and resilience in SIDS. Historically, SIDS have struggled to access adequate funding for health infrastructure and climate resilience, and there is a risk that these new initiatives will continue to overlook the urgent needs of our regions.
While COP28 Day 4 brought important issues to the forefront, as Leve Global, we urge the global community to recognize and prioritize the immediate health-related climate adaptation needs of SIDS. The Caribbean and other SIDS cannot afford to be sidelined in discussions where our very survival is at stake. We need action that matches the urgency of our situation and ensures the health and well-being of our communities in the face of escalating climate challenges.
What are your thoughts on Day 4? Please leave your comments below.
Read our summary on Day 5 here.
Check out our summaries on other days:
Day 8 (Coming Soon)
Day 9 (Coming Soon)
Day 10 (Coming Soon)
Day 11 (Coming Soon)
Day 12 (Coming Soon)
We would love to hear from you. Engage with us. Leave a comment below.
About the Author:
Kevon Wilson, is a premier researcher and strategist. He has more than 16 years’ experience in research and digital marketing.
He is co-author of many of Leve Global’s research publications such as Big Data – Delivering the Big Picture to Drive Competitiveness, Everything You Need to Know About Internet Marketing, and The Top Ten Emerging Markets.