Mercy Corps Endorses COP28 Climate, Relief, Recovery, and Peace Declaration

Mercy Corps Endorses COP28 Climate, Relief, Recovery, and Peace Declaration
Mercy Corps Endorses COP28 Climate, Relief, Recovery, and Peace Declaration

Mercy Corps Endorses COP28 Climate, Relief, Recovery, and Peace Declaration

Mercy Corps stands firmly in support of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) COP28 Presidency Climate, Relief, Recovery, and Peace Declaration, affirming its endorsement and active contribution to a suite of solutions aimed at aiding climate-vulnerable communities. At the heart of this declaration lies a compelling call to action, urging more robust measures to amplify climate action and financial support for regions besieged by fragility and conflict.

Adrianna Hardaway, the esteemed Senior Policy Advisor for Climate and Water Security at Mercy Corps, articulates a pressing concern: the dearth of attention given to the convergence of climate and conflict within the UNFCCC climate processes. However, this year has witnessed a remarkable elevation of the needs and realities of communities entrenched in fragile contexts, marking a pivotal shift.

The declaration poignantly acknowledges a fundamental challenge faced by these communities: their acute susceptibility to climate change’s impacts, juxtaposed with a glaring lack of financial resources necessary for recovery and adaptive measures in the wake of repeated climate upheavals. Moreover, it rightly highlights the imperative to escalate grants-based finance, broaden financial accessibility, and accentuate local intervention – pillars that Mercy Corps identifies as pivotal in alleviating debt burdens and channelling climate finance directly to where it’s most imperative: the grassroots level.

Importantly, the declaration underscores the significance of conflict sensitivity and peace in devising adaptation and loss and damage programmes, recognizing these as integral components of adaptation actions. Establishing a conducive environment through peace and governance interventions is the initial stride towards fostering effective climate adaptation.

However, Adrianna points out a deficiency in the declaration that the vagueness surrounding partnerships and the absence of specific directives on how donors should recalibrate their risk propensity to invest in fragile contexts. The crux lies in the necessity of prompting donors to prioritise climate finance in fragile contexts, a task unattainable without a substantial shift in donors’ risk inclination. While acknowledging the complexities donors confront in adjusting their risk appetite, explicit references to this in the declaration would have been appreciated.

Mercy Corps’ latest report serves as a testament to the commendable strides made by its team in surmounting the distinctive challenges posed by fragility and conflict and effectively implementing programmes of profound impact. However, to amplify the scope of this commendable work, it is imperative for donors to furnish substantial, reliable, and additional grant-based finance—a vital catalyst in expanding the magnitude of these initiatives.

Mercy Corps Endorses COP28 Climate, Relief, Recovery, and Peace Declaration

In Adrianna’s voice:

“While the issue of the intersection between climate and conflict has been gaining traction in recent years, it has not received adequate attention within the UNFCCC climate processes. This year, the needs and realities of communities in fragile contexts have been elevated to a level we have not seen before. 
“The declaration articulates one of the central challenges faced by communities impacted by fragility and conflict: they are highly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change yet lack the financial resources needed to rebuild between repeated climate shocks and invest in adaptation measures. The declaration also references scaling up grant-based finance, increasing access to finance, and prioritizing local action, issue areas that Mercy Corps sees as critical for decreasing debt burdens and directing climate finance to the local level where it is most needed. 
“We also appreciate the reference to conflict sensitivity and peace in adaptation and loss and damage programs since we believe that peace and governance interventions are adaptation actions, as they are the first step in creating an enabling environment that supports climate adaptation.
“Finally, the part on partnerships is the weakest in the declaration; there are no specifics on how donors should adjust their risk appetite to invest in fragile contexts. Prioritizing communities in fragile contexts for climate finance is impossible without a shift in risk appetite of donors for investing in these contexts. While we recognize the challenges donors face in increasing their risk appetite, we would have liked to see explicit references to this in the declaration. 
“As our latest report demonstrates, when financing is available, Mercy Corps team members are overcoming the unique challenges presented by fragility and conflict to implement highly effective programming. We would like to see this work further complemented by donors providing adequate, predictable, and additional grants-based finance to increase the scale of this work.” 


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