COP28, the much-anticipated climate change conference, has ended. The expectations for this global conference were immense and due to the complexity of the problems and the multifaceted sectors it convenes, there has been substantial criticism in terms of the reach and scope of the outcomes. As important as the arguments are regarding the underdelivery of COP28 in several areas, we aim to cover only a piece of this jigsaw. We aim to reflect on the humanitarian sector’s involvement at this conference, the movement Start Network is committed to, and more importantly, on our steps toward a systemic shift to a more locally led and anticipatory approach to address the impacts of the climate crisis.
Start Network’s engagement at COP28 reflected a coherent movement for change. Our members provided direction in the narrative, key messages, and policy asks of our campaign. Our COP28 engagement was further strengthened by our participation in the Regional Climate Weeks where our local and national members took part and advocated for change. We were also able to increase our reach by participating in sessions through our partners such as the Risk-Informed Early Action Partnership (REAP), Centre for Disaster Protection, OCHA, the Anticipation Hub, IFRC, Insurance Development Forum (IDF), African Risk Capacity (ARC), Howden, and UNU-EHS, so thank you to all of them as well as our members and donors.
Below is a summary of our engagement:
- Start Network participated in 11 sessions, including leading a session in the first-ever Humanitarian Hub at COP and we participated as a speaker at the UN Secretary General’s High-Level Panel on Early Warning For All initiative. Other sessions were on topics such as anticipatory and early action, pre-arranged financing, insurance, loss and damage, and locally led action.
- Start Network endorsed the REAP's "Getting Ahead of Disaster: A Charter on Finance for Managing Risks". The Charter aligns with Start Network’s own work, particularly our focus on providing timely, prepositioned funding to help humanitarian actors and affected communities be better prepared when disasters hit.
- Minister of the State of the United Kingdom for Development and Africa, Minister Andrew Mitchell, announced new UK funding to boost climate resilience. This was further detailed in a press release which set out a disaster risk financing package and the funding of £7.1 million to Start Network.
- The Commissioner for Crisis Management, Janez Lenarčič, announced ECHO’s support of €2 million for Start Ready during the high-level event on the adoption of the Risk-informed Early Action Partnership (REAP) Charter.
- Support towards Start Ready was also mentioned by Micheál Martin, Ireland's Minister for Foreign Affairs and Minister for Defence, Tánaiste, during a session 'Putting Principles into Practice', that explored locally led adaptation principles. You can find the recording here.