The fourth day of the UN Climate Change Conference COP28 has ensured more than $2.4 billion are committed to conserving forests, and oceans and to improving the lives of 1.6 billion people affected by neglected tropical diseases (NTDs).

Razan Khalifa Al Mubarak, UN Climate Change High-Level Champion for COP28, announced $1.7 billion in nature conservation finance and cemented the role of nature in climate action from COP28 to COP30.

Meanwhile, the first-ever COP Health Day saw global donors pledge more than $777 million to help control, eliminate, and eradicate neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) from the continent of Africa.

During the World Climate Action Summit, the COP28 Presidency and its partners presented a series of new and ambitious initiatives with an initial $1.7 billion of committed finance to simultaneously meet climate and biodiversity goals. Brazil’s President Luis Lula da Silva and the COP28 Presidency announced a two-year partnership to mobilise new resources and political support for nature on the road to COP30 in Belem.

“Ensuring that nature in its total and most holistic form is recognised, supported, and funded as a prerequisite to climate action has been a priority for the COP28 Presidency,” Al Mubarak said.

“This remarkable political leadership coupled with support and finance from non-state actors is a testament to the fundamental role of nature not just for this cop but for all future cops to come.”

In the session, heads of states and governments unveiled national and regional investment plans and partnerships focused on nature-climate action to deliver on the Paris Agreement and the recently adopted Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework.

Accordingly, the UAE would contribute $100 million of new finance for nature-climate projects, with an initial $30 million investment in the Ghanaian government’s ‘Resilient Ghana’ plan – launched by Ghanaian President Nana Akufo-Addo with an additional $80 million of support from Canada, Singapore, the US and other private sector aligned initiatives such as the LEAF Coalition, supplementing the UAE’s $30 million.

President Emmanuel Macron of France confirmed funding for three forest finance packages including $100 million for Papua New Guinea, $60 million for Democratic Republic of Congo and $50 million for the Republic of the Congo to drive private finance of conservation and local development through verifiable carbon credit transactions.

Indonesian President Joko Widodo and Norwegian Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Store highlighted a $100 million partnership in support of Indonesia’s pioneering FOLU Net Sink 2030 plan.

The Asian Development Bank, along with the OPEC Fund, Saudi Arabia, AFD, France, and the ASEAN Catalytic Green Finance Facility at the Green Climate Fund, announced the Nature Finance Hub, a new initiative committing to mobilise $1 billion from development partners, to mobilise a further $2 billion in additional private finance capital by 2030 into nature-focused climate projects.

These nature-climate plans also drive progress on previous commitments, including COP26’s Glasgow Leaders’ Declaration, which saw 145 countries agree to halt and reverse forest loss and land degradation by 2030, as well as the landmark Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework agreed last December, which saw 196 countries agree on a common framework to halt total nature loss by 2030.

Addressing nature loss can save $104 billion in adaptation costs and has the potential to provide upwards of 30 per cent of the CO2 mitigation action needed by 2030. Additionally, as around 50 per cent of global GDP is directly or indirectly dependent on nature and other ecosystem services, the conservation and restoration of natural ecosystems supports economic prosperity, with the potential to create nearly 395 billion more jobs and to protect 1 billion people whose livelihoods are directly dependent on nature.

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