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COP28: Summary of the initiatives and financial commitments for climate and health

by Public Health Update

Today the COP28 Presidency joined with the World Health Organization to announce a new ‘COP28 UAE Declaration on Climate and Health’ (the Declaration) to accelerate actions to protect people’s health from growing climate impacts. The Declaration was announced at the World Climate Action Summit, where world leaders have gathered for the start of COP28.

A set of new finance commitments on climate and health was announced to back up these political commitments, including a USD 300 million commitment by the Global Fund to prepare health systems, USD 100 million by the Rockefeller Foundation to scale up climate and health solutions, and an announcement by the UK Government of up to GBP 54 million. The Declaration is announced ahead of the first ever Health Day at a COP and joins a series of announcements made during the World Climate Action Summit to keep 1.5C within reach.

  • The Asian Development Bank announced the launch of a new Climate and Health Initiative, dedicating an initial allocation of $7 million in seed funding over the coming year to jump-start i) knowledge generation, 2) innovative financing, 3) country capacity building, 4) strategic partnerships, 5) incubating innovations, and 6) high level advocacy on climate change and health. The Initiative, housed at ADB, is expected to catalyze at least $10 for each $1 of seed investments through co-financing and co-investments. The Initiative is one of ADB’s priorities under its 2023 – 2030 Climate Change Action Plan that will provide $120 million in climate finance. In addition, ADB has committed to a target of at least 15% of its annual health portfolio to support climate-focused projects, a commitment which will mobilize significant resources for climate and health actions in the coming years.
  • The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation announced $57.95 million towards climate and health. This includes a $50 million investment over the coming four years to support climate-focused malaria efforts to better understand, detect and respond to changing vector habitat and endemicity ranges, and to develop new tools and strategies to respond to climate-related changes and disruptions in the malaria response. In addition, the Foundation will contribute $7.95 million to a Grand Challenges Request for Proposal focused on transdisciplinary approaches to better adapt to, mitigate, or reverse the combined deleterious effects of climate change on health and agriculture. This includes early warning and disease surveillance to respond to climate-event-driven surges in malaria and other vector borne diseases, as well as improved mapping of expanded vector ranges and vector-borne disease transmission.
  • Wellcome Trust announced it will be spending £100mn in the coming year alone supporting research to understand and address the climate change health crisis, especially to support actions that benefit the most affected people and communities. The aim of this investment is to put health research at the heart of climate decision-making, building momentum for healthy global climate mitigation and adaptation action.
  • Bloomberg Philanthropies, Clean Air Fund and C40 Cities, announced an initial eleven cities to join the Breathe Cities Initiative – an ambitious new $30 million clean air initiative to accelerate progress, break down barriers to action, and ensure communities around the world have access to clean air. The selected cities will receive support to enhance air quality data, community engagement, and policy development with an aim of reducing air pollution 30% by 2030 and preventing nearly 40,000 premature deaths in selected cities.
  • The Rockefeller Foundation announced at COP28 a $100 million commitment to advancing climate and health solutions, re-imagining the Foundation’s 110-year legacy in global health for the climate era. This announcement, the first by the Foundation on climate and health, advances the Guiding Principles for Financing Climate and Health Solutions which the Foundation co-convened together with the COP28 Presidency, World Health Organization, Green Climate Fund, and the Global Fund. This announcement is part of the Foundation’s Climate Strategy, announced in September, to mobilize $1 billion over the coming five years to advance the global climate transition and help ensure everyone can participate in it. The investment will focus on community driven innovations in low- and middle-income countries that either mitigate or enable people to adapt to the effects of climate change on their health.
  • The UK will provide up to £18m to support partner countries to assess vulnerability, identify priority actions and support planning, with a view to mobilise the necessary financial and expert resources to increase investments to adapt and strengthen health systems to better cope with the impacts of climate change. This is the first such climate-health programme announced by a G7 country. Furthermore, 20% of the £80 million the UK pledged to the Global Financing Facility in October, that operates in about 40 countries, will be spent on climate and health. Recognising the fast-evolving agenda and need for a stronger evidence base of what works to address the accelerating threats from climate change to health, we are also designing a new £20m research programme that will build on UK experience and beyond. This is in addition to the existing £20million action orientated climate and health research programme launched at COP26 through the National Institute for Health and Care Research. Projects under this programme will begin work in 2024, and will aim to generate evidence to strengthen health service delivery and resilience in low and middle income countries in the context of extreme weather events, through equitable partnerships between leading UK research institutions and partners in Africa, South and South-East Asia. We will continue to encourage and work with partners internationally to build a healthier future for all.
  • Foundation S is committed to raising awareness of the impact of climate change on health and to accelerating global financial support for climate adaptation in countries where climate change is already a reality.  Foundation S has pledged $42 million through 2030 to support community-led adaptation solutions to climate change, following the “Time to Adapt” Report issued by Foundation S’s think-tank, The Collective MindS Climate Council. This funding will go to local organizations and social innovators on the frontlines of the climate crisis, creating sustainable solutions leveraging public-private partnerships with local actors. Building on this, Foundation S is also pleased to support a new public-private effort to strengthen community resilience against the health implications of climate change, in collaboration with the Global Grand Challenges Africa, Rwanda, Brazil, Ethiopia and India, alongside the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and Wellcome. The results of this work will help facilitate the much-needed evidence and data required to support innovative approaches for climate adaptation at the local level – and address the critical intersection of climate change, health, agriculture, and gender.
  • AVPN and Bayer Foundation announced a partnership to tackle the intersectionality of climate and health. This partnership will build the ecosystem infrastructure for Asian funders of all types to find collaborative pathways to developing their intersectional climate-health strategies, ensuring the agendas are locally owned and led while enhancing the likelihood of successful deployment of capital. The program will increase awareness of climate and health among social investors in Asia, build a shared understanding of principles for financing climate and health solutions to enable a catalytic role for capital from philanthropy to blended finance, spotlight local innovative solutions and mobilize capital into investable projects marketplace for Asia, amplify Asian led climate and health initiatives, and enhance visibility for pathfinder partners and their work to attract future collaborations.
  • The Global Grand Challenges network of partners will announce a joint funding call of approximately $12 million to support innovators addressing the critical intersection of climate change, health, agriculture, and gender. The partners include Science for Africa Foundation-Grand Challenges Africa; Grand Challenges Rwanda; Grand Challenges Brazil; Grand Challenges Ethiopia; and Grand Challenges India in partnership with Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Wellcome, Foundation S-The Sanofi Collective S, Rockefeller Foundation and Pasteur Network. This funding follows a 2022 climate and health call for applications by Grand Challenges Canada and the South African Medical Research Council-Grand Challenges South Africa.

  • United States announces $3 billion commitment to the Green Climate Fund, the largest international fund dedicated to climate action.

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