UNDRR at COP28

Already, catastrophic climate disasters are hitting all regions of the globe, with devastating events across 2023, including shattering floods in Libya and unprecedented wildfire losses in Hawaii. Record heatwaves, droughts and extreme weather continue to smash new records with unspeakable tragedies in real lives lost and livelihoods destroyed.

This comes in the context of an 80 percent increase in the number of people affected by disasters since 2005, as shown by the Midterm Review of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction (MTR SF). If countries continue to neglect risks, then by 2030, the global number of disasters per year is expected to hit around 560 per year – or 1.5 medium- to large-scale disasters per day. 

"The future is not fixed.…today can be a powerful moment to generate momentum, that we build on over the coming months"

— António Guterres, UN Secretary-General

However, we can change this. Disasters do not have to devastate. Climate-related hazards are rapidly growing, but we can and must reduce vulnerability and exposure so that hazards, such as floods or cyclones, do not turn into disasters that lead to substantial losses and damages.  

The UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR) is calling on Parties and stakeholders at COP28 to commit to #ZeroClimateDisasters because we have the power to stop disasters - everyone should have a future where they are not threatened by disasters. We seek to ramp up global efforts to tackle vulnerability and exposure to climate risks, with a focus on countries and communities on the frontlines of the climate emergency. It builds on the International Day for Disaster Risk Reduction on 13 October which put the spotlight on tackling inequality to deliver resilience for all.  

We need a dual acceleration to reach #ZeroClimateDisasters: stop the creation of new risks by rapidly reducing emissions and, at the same time, accelerate action on climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction. At COP28, we need to fast-track progress on climate justice, including actions to avert, minimize and address loss and damage, implement Early Warnings for All (EW4All), and deliver on reforms of the international climate finance architecture. We have the tools at our disposal but need greater political will and financing to meet the scale of the emergency.  

The concurrent Global Stocktake of the Paris Agreement (GST) and Midterm Review of the Sendai Framework (MTR SF) is a unique opportunity to promote and pursue synergies in actions. Fully aligned with the paradigm shifts called upon by the COP28 President-Designate, UNDRR calls to achieve #ZeroClimateDisasters through the following: 

UNDRR updates from COP

Key messages

Fast-track the energy transition and slash emissions before 2030 to slow down climate change and stop the creation of related risk

Current mitigation trajectories are leading to unmanageable disaster risk. A continued increase in greenhouse emissions will result in irreversible changes including the breach of limits to adaptation and tipping points of planetary boundaries. Our success in reaching ‘Zero Climate Disasters by 2030’ is contingent on reaching net zero. This requires urgent action to narrow the global emissions gap, including through fossil fuel phase-out and more ambitious mitigation commitments. New and updated Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) should reflect the emissions reduction targets that are necessary to, at a minimum, honour the commitments of the Paris Agreement to limit the temperature increase to 1.5°C above the pre-industrial era. Ensuring a safe climate is the greatest public good governments can deliver.   

  • We call on COP28 delegates to inject #ZeroClimateDisasters by 2030 into the ambition and accelerated pace of radically reducing emissions and speeding up the energy transition. We must move quickly to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to meet the 1.5-degree target as an urgent global priority. 

Deliver on climate justice by helping countries address existing risks through

Operationalizing the loss and damage funding arrangements and the fund.

COP27 marked a historic breakthrough with the agreement on loss and damage funding arrangements and a fund with a focus on addressing loss and damage. Delivering on these promises is vital for supporting the most vulnerable countries and communities and keeping trust and pace on climate action. Disaster risk reduction financing mechanisms have much to offer. Through a layered approach to risk management, there are financing arrangements that are applicable to extreme events as well as slow-onset events.  

  • We call on global decision-makers to deliver on the ground with and for the communities who need it most by swiftly operationalising the loss and damage fund and funding arrangement.

Enhance capacities to avert, minimise and address loss and damage with technical assistance

Climate-vulnerable countries and communities need urgent technical assistance, to build local capacities to better understand, and take action against existing and emerging risks. Furthermore, technical assistance can assist countries in accessing financing for losses and damages in keeping with the functions of the Santiago network. UNDRR has applied to host the Santiago Network and a decision is expected at COP28. Improving tracking systems for losses and damages, strengthening governance through comprehensive risk management, and ensuring inclusive implementation through a vast network of organizations, bodies, networks and experts (OBNEs) are some crucial elements in its operationalization that UNDRR is accelerating with partners.

  • We call on Parties to continue to advance the institutionalisation of the Santiago network, as a key mechanism to catalyse technical assistance to avert, minimise and address climate-related losses and damages.

Early warning and action for all by 2027

Early warning and action save lives; however, only half of the countries, and one-third of the world’s people – living mainly in least developed countries and small island developing States – are still not covered by early warning systems. Implementation is now well underway on the UN Secretary-General’s Early Warnings for All Initiative co-led by UNDRR and WMO, together with ITU and IFRC, to ensure every person on Earth is protected by early warning systems by 2027. At COP28, UNDRR will publish the 2023 Global Status Report on Early Warning Systems.  

  • We call for the accelerated roll out of universal early warning coverage to ensure everyone is protected by 2027 as a key means to preparing the communities to act before disasters strike

Ensure predictable and sustainable financing for resilient infrastructure and risk-informed adaptation, and de-risk all investments

Currently, there are severe challenges with the limited technical and financial resources available to invest in adaptation and disaster risk reduction. Financing is driven by reactive needs to disasters which hinders investment in addressing the underlying drivers of climate risk. There is a need to embed risk reduction in all investments and development decisions, and to bolster resilience, especially for the most vulnerable countries and groups.

  • We call on global decision-makers to uphold the commitment to double adaptation finance by 2025 and deliver on the ground with and for the communities who need it most.
  • We call on G20 nations to support development of national financing strategies for disaster risk reduction, as agreed in the newly established G20 Working Group on Disaster Risk Reduction, strategies that should address financing for adaptation.
  • We call on countries, in collaboration with development partners where appropriate, to stress-test critical infrastructure systems and conduct resilience reviews to enable investment in climate resilience.

Key enablers

The attainment of these ambitious goals is predicated on an enabling environment built on:

Better data for evidence-based planning and action

Dashboard with graphics representing statistics

We cannot manage what we cannot measure. Limited risk knowledge has been highlighted as a clear impediment to achieving Early Warnings for All. With climate action increasingly getting translated into concrete planning and implementation, there is a clear need to have a better understanding of historical and potential losses and damages, and current and future risks. Knowledge gaps in slow-onset events, non-economic losses, and the cost of disasters need to be well understood and addressed, including through better data disaggregation. 

  • We call for universal availability of and access to high-quality data to strengthen risk knowledge for informed climate action.

Integrated policy frameworks through effective comprehensive risk management 

Bonn - 2

A key finding of the MTR SF is the siloed approach to planning at national and local levels, particularly with respect to development, climate change and disaster risk reduction. This not only fractures the potential for enhanced resilience, but also can amplify risks. The culmination of the first GST should build on the outcomes of the MTR SF but also encourage and support more integrated planning and implementation within countries. The means of implementation, in particular, financing mechanisms, should likewise be facilitative of such integrated approaches. 

Comprehensive (disaster and climate) risk management promotes integrated planning, implementation and financing that identifies actions to reduce climate-related disaster risks and reach the most vulnerable.    

  • We call on national and local governments to scale-up the development and implementation of integrated plans for disaster risk management and climate change adaptation through a comprehensive risk management approach

Reformed financial systems

Showing financial developments and business growth with a growing tree in a coin toss.

Despite the mounting direct and indirect economic impacts of climate-related disasters, financing remains heavily focused on reactive measures to finance post-disaster response and recovery, such as contingency funds and insurance. However, increasing investment in risk prevention and climate resilience is critical to break the vicious cycle of disaster > response > recovery > repeat. Yet, this requires changing the rules of the game of the financial system to further mobilize public, private, and international financial flows. 

Scaling up private investment is achievable, for instance, if risk disclosure requirements for companies are improved and standards for dedicated capital market instruments are developed (e.g., resilience taxonomies). Meanwhile, regulators can initiate reforms that ensure climate-related risks are accounted for and priced in investment decisions, such as credit decisions from commercial banks. International finance institutions also need to step up their actions on climate adaptation and create collaboration opportunities through lending, debt support, and grants, particularly for countries facing the most severe economic challenges. 

  • We call on Parties to partner with the private sector to scale up investment in disaster risk reduction and climate resilience and promote the development of innovative financing instruments and tools (e.g., resilience bonds and debt suspension clauses).
  • We call on Parties to request financial authorities to integrate climate risks into their work, mainstream disaster risk reduction measures in multilateral and bilateral development assistance programmes, and reform international financial institutions to better address climate-related risks.

Inclusive local action and community leadership

Community leaders exchanging

Challenge and opportunities in terms of climate action are increasingly urban. Effective solutions are embracing more inclusive approaches that pulls together different agendas, institutions and implementing partners, and stakeholders. These approaches need to leverage local government leadership and capacity on the ground as well as global partnerships, such as Making Cities Resilient 2030 (MCR2030) , to scale up ambition and action.

  • We call on Parties to increase the volume of devolved and decentralized funding provided to local governments and community-led local resilience solutions.
  • We call on Parties and all stakeholders to act upon the recommendations of the Dubai Call for Action: Scaling Up Urban Resilience for a Changing Climate

People are affected differently by disasters so we must empower and include local actors, especially community-based organizations, in the development and implementation of national and local strategies to effectively avert, minimize and address losses and damages.

  • We call on climate finance providers to make flexible resourcing mechanisms available to non-governmental stakeholders to enable the full and meaningful participation in resilience building of all stakeholders, particularly those traditionally excluded from decision-making.
  • We reiterate the UN Secretary-General’s call for climate justice for all, directing resources to those highly vulnerable countries facing climate impacts that cannot be mitigated.  
Several photographers break through the flood to cover the flood disaster
Risk Media hub
A toolkit for news media professionals reporting on disasters and resilience

As climate risks are manifesting far sooner and with greater intensity than expected, never before has mankind faced such an array of interconnected risks.

The toolkit provides an array of resources to help journalists tell the other side of the disaster story and raise critical questions to help societies become more resilient:

What are the drivers of risk? How can development and policy decisions either increase or reduce risks? How do disaster risks cascade across borders and all sectors of society? Why do disasters discriminate and inflict the worst impact on the most vulnerable? And most importantly: How can countries and communities reduce risk and build resilience? 

UNDRR at COP28

UNDRR's engagement in COP28 is dedicated to fostering accelerated action in reducing climate-related disaster risks.

Our priority areas include:  

  • Advocating for scaled-up global action to avert, minimize and address losses and damages and promote climate justice for all.  
  • Mobilising the engagement of local leaders to accelerate local and urban climate action to reduce disaster risks.  
  • Promoting comprehensive disaster and climate risk management at national and local levels 
  • Enhancing understanding of multi-hazard early warning systems, especially in fragile and conflict affected contexts, in line with the UN Secretary-General’s Early Warning for All initiative. 
  • Advocating for predictable and sustainable financing for resilient infrastructure and risk-informed adaptation and to de-risk all investments.

COP28 is the moment to put words into action and safeguard the lives and livelihoods of the millions of people.  

EventDayDateTime [UAE]Venue
Side event: Navigating Challenges: The interplay of climate change, disasters and conflict - the case of South SudanThurs.30.Nov13.00 - 14.00African Union Pavilion
Side Event: A Santiago Network on Loss and Damage that Reduces Vulnerability THU30.Nov19:15 - 20:00Africa Pavilion
Panel Multilevel integration in the territorialization of adaptation strategiesFRI1.Dec09:00 - 10:15Auditorium 1
Panel Securing the Financial Future of Climate Vulnerable Nations FRI1.Dec11:15-12:15Theatre 
High-level segment of the World Climate Action Summit "Climate Security Moment"FRI 1.Dec13.30 - 15.30Global Climate Action Area - Blue Zone
Sendai to Paris Agreement: Progress and Limitations for Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) and Climate Change Adaptation (CCA) in MozambiqueFRI1.Dec14:00 - 15:00Mozambique Pavillion 
Presidential Event on Drought Resilience [IDRA/UNCCD]FRI1.Dec16:00 - 17:30Land & Drought Pavilion, Blue Zone, TA4, 205 
UN Side Event: Accelerating innovation in the Early Warnings for All initiative for adaptationFRI1.Dec16:45—18:15SE Room 2
EW4All How AI is able to improve early warning systemsFRI1.Dec18:00 - 19:00WMO Pavilion
Adaptation Finance for Commercial Banks Operating in Emerging and Developing Markets SAT2.Dec08:30 - 10:30Resilience hub
High-level session of the Local Climate Action Summit (LCAS) "Inclusive Strategies for Local Climate Adaptation and Resilience"SAT 2.Dec11.30-12.15Pending location
Increased Financing of AMHEWAS Programme: A Pathway to Accelerated Resilience Building and Reduced Disaster Losses (Co-organized by AUC and UNDRR)SAT2.Dec13:00 - 14:00Africa Pavilion
EW4ALL Partners’ Roundtable Forum for the Implementation of EW4All in Africa Action Plan at COP28 (Organized by WMO)SAT2.Dec13:00 - 14:00WMO Pavilion
Side Event: Empowering Resilience: AI-Driven Weather Forecasting for Developing NationsSAT2.Dec13:00-13:45Egypt Pavilion 
Side Event: Damages, Losses and DRR - Madagascar  EW4All action plan SAT2.Dec14:00-15:00Madagascar Pavilion
UNOPS Future-Proofing Infrastructure SAT 2.Dec16:00 - 17:00UNOPS Pavilion 
Side Event: "We Are Resilience, We Are Solution"SAT2.Dec17:00 - 18:00CAF Pavilion: LAC Region of Solutions Pavilion
Side Event: Engineering Action: Influencing the future of the built & natural environmentSUN3.Dec13:30 - 14:30Resilience hub
High-level Roundtable Ministerial Forum for the
Implementation of EW4All in Africa Action Plan 
SUN3.Dec 14:00-15:00Kenya Pavilion
Taking Early Action to Scale: A Charter for the FutureSUN3.Dec09:30 - 10:30Al Saih Roundtable
18th Global Forum on Human SettlementsSUN3.Dec10:00 - 11:00 (forum begins at 09:00)Radisson Blu Hotel, Dubai Canal View ( Marasi Drive, P.O. Box 16021, Business Bay, Dubai, UAE)
COP28 Presidency Event: "Delivering Early Warnings for All" SUN3.Dec10:30 - 12:00MR 10
COP28 Presidency Event: Launch of the Climate, Relief, Recovery and Peace DeclarationSUN3.Dec12:00 - 13:30WCAS Theatre [Al Waha Theatre]
Catalyzing the EU and Latin American and Caribbean partnership for improved disaster preparedness, early warning and disaster risk reductionSUN3.Dec14:00 - 15:30SICA Pavilion
EW4ALL Handbook: Risk knowledge to achieve Early Warnings for All SUN3.Dec16:55 - 17:25SDG UAE Pavilion
Transforming Humanitarian Assistance in the Face of Climate CrisesSUN3.Dec17:00-18:30Humanitarian Hub (Green Zone)  
Side Event: Enhancing the Resilience of Vulnerable Arab Communities: National and Regional Efforts"SUN3.Dec9:45- 10:45LAS Pavilion 
Side Event: Use of Global Taxonomies for Leveraging Finance for Climate ResilienceMON4.Dec11:30 - 12:30Iraq Pavilion
Side Event: Risk Finance for Climate Change Vulnerable Communities - Needs, Gaps & Existing SuppliesMON4.Dec 14:30-16:00French Pavilion
EW4All Launch of the Handbook on EW in fragile and violent contextsMON4.Dec10:30 - 11:30Climate Mobility (IOM) Pavilion
Climate Vulnerability Forum Global Parliamentarian Group (CVF-GPG) Parliamentary Accountability Summit MON4.Dec14:00 - 15:15 IRENA Pavilion (Blue Zone)
Inclusive Climate Adaptation in CItiesMON4.Dec15:00-16:15Brazilian Pavilion-Auditorium 1
Side Event: Disaster Risk Reduction and Climate Action - A comprehensive risk management approach for planning and implementation MON4.Dec16:15 - 17:30Brazilian Pavilion
Side Event: Consideration of Climate & Disaster-Induced Human Mobility within national strategies & policiesMON4.Dec16:45-18:15SE Room 3
Water Pavilion: Thematic Day 2: Prioritizing Water in the Global Goal on AdaptationMON4.Dec9:00-16:30Water Pavilion
Side Event: Governance for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure: A Shared Challenge for Climate Change Adaptation and Disaster Risk ReductionTUE5.Dec10:00 - 11:30Chile Pavilion 
Side Event: Integrating Anticipatory Action and Risk Financing on the Meso-level Testing a New Innovative Climate RiskTUE5.Dec10:00 - 11:30UNCDF Pavilion
Side Event: Towards a Resilient Future: Science, Technology, Policy and Private Sector Nexus for Disaster Risk ReductionTUE5.Dec12:45-13:30Tunisia Pavilion 
UN Side Event: Enabling climate action through data, transparency and finance TUE5.Dec13:15—14:45SE Room 2
Strengthening Urban Resilience for a Changing Climate MCR2030 Side EventTUE5.Dec15.45-17.00UN-Habitat-ICLEI Pavilion 
UN Side Event: UN raising ambition and delivery on the ground: multilevel climate action for local resilienceTUE5.Dec15:00—16:30SE Room 9
Tripling Renewable Power by 2030: A Legislators DialogueTUE5.Dec18:00 - 19:00Global Renewables Hub
UN4NAPs: Case Studies and Success storiesTUE5.Dec18:30-20:00Room 4 
Meeting of the Investor Advisory Board (IAB)TUE5.Dec Capital Club
AI for Climate Solutions (organized by Microsoft)WED6.Dec11:30 - 13:00UNFCCC Pavilion
Side Event: Climate Finance in the Context of Loss and Damage ... Global and National Responsibilities
WED6.Dec13:30 - 14:20 LAS Pavilion 
Side Event: Strengthening Urban Resilience for a Changing ClimateWED6.Dec14:00 - 15:00Humanitarian Hub 
Accelerating city climate action at speed and scale: an Innovate4Cities implementation showcaseWED6.Dec14:00 -17:00Terra auditorium, Green Zone
Building and Sustaining Resilient Infrastructure in the Face of Climate ChangeWED6.Dec16:00 - 18:00COP28 Presidency Green Zone energy transition stage
Side Event: Enhancing resilience of infrastructure through strengthened governance WED6.Dec16:20 - 17:20Bhutan Pavilion
Early warning for All in Africa: Implementation of the African Multi Hazards Early warning and Early Action System (Organized by ACMAD with AUC, UNECA, WMO, UNDRR, CIMA, NORCAP, IGAD/ICPAC)WED6.Dec18:15 - 19-15IPCC-WMO-MERI-NCM Pavilion
Resilience Hub: DRM-HA: Disaster Risk Management and Humanitarian ActionFRI8.Dec09:00-10:00Resilience Hub
Climate Action for Resilient Livelihoods: Bridging Gaps and Fostering CollaborationFRI8.Dec11:15-12:45UNCDF Pavilion
Side Event: Enhancing
UN Framework Coherence for a Green Future
FRI8.Dec3:15-4:15 pm UNCCD Pavilion 
UN Side Event: Minimizing and addressing loss and damage with locally led adaptation and risk-transfer financing solutions SAT9.Dec13:15—14:45SE Room 4
How to use IT and AI to make Information on Climate Risks and Solutions Accessible to AllSAT9.Dec13:30 - 14:30Resilience hub
Promoting Early Warning Systems for Minimizing and Addressing Loss & Damage: How to accelerate EWS in Asia Pacific countries?SUN10.Dec10:30 - 11:45Japan Pavilion 
EW4All Water at the HeartSUN10.Dec11:30 - 13:00Benelux EIB Pavilion
Forging Resilience: Anticipatory Action pathways to reduce loss, damage and Humanitarian Crises in the Horn of Africa (Organized by ICPAC with WFP, OCHA, UNDRR, FAO) and IFRC)SUN10.Dec14:00-15:00Humanitarian Hub 
Resilience Hub: Finance & investment  - Losses and damagesMON11.Dec09:00-10:00Resilience hub
Moving nature up the climate agenda: How the UN system is working to link the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework with climate action in policy and implementationMON11.Dec10:30-11:15UNEP Pavilion
EW4ALL in Arab StatesTUE12.Dec09:00GCC Pavilion

UNDRR at Regional Climate Weeks 2023

Africa Climate Week, 4-8 September 2023, Nairobi

  • EW4ALL:
    • High Level Ministerial Session. 4 September, 9:15-10:15 
    • Climate information services – discussing challenges and opportunities for scaling up early warning systems and recovery after disasters. 7 September 11:30-13:00
  • Comprehensive Risk Management / Urban resilience
    • Climate Action for African Livelihoods: Bridging Gaps and Fostering Collaboration. Organizers: (UNU, UNDRR, UNEP, UNCDF). 7 September 12:00-13:00
    • AUC/GIZ: Enhancing urban resilience through risk informed development. 4 September, 12:00-13:00
    • Fostering Resilient Sustainable Urbanization in Africa through Integrated Disaster Risk Reduction and Climate Change Adaptation. 4 September 16:30-17:30
    • Understanding the landscape of regional adaptation action and support in Africa. 5 Sep 2023, 14.00-16.00
    • Building pro-poor and inclusive urban resilience in Sub-Saharan Africa. 6 September 15:30-16:30
    • Local Governments Leading the Charge: Harnessing Collective Action for Resilient Cities. 7 September 9:00-10:00
  • Parliamentarians Dialogue: Driving green growth & climate finance solutions for Africa and the world. 6 September 9:00-10:00

Middle-East and North Africa Climate Week, 9-12 October 2023, Riyadh

  • Comprehensive Risk Management / Urban resilience
    • Towards Integrated Planning – Accelerating Urban Resilience in a Changing Climate
    • Saida as an Environmentally Sustainable City’: MCR2030
    • Localizing Sustainable Development Goals; Fighting Inequality for a Resilient Future.
  • From Tradition to Innovation: Harnessing Indigenous and Local Knowledge (ILK) for Sustainable Livelihoods in a Changing Climate" (UNDRR & UNESCO )

Latin America & the Caribbean Climate Week, 23-27 October, Panama City

  • XXIII Environment Ministers Forum:  Paragraph in the Political Declaration stressing joint work between Environment, Meteorological, and NEMO institutions.
  • EW4ALL:
    • Ministerial Symposium: “Strengthening coordination between Environment Ministries, Met Services, and DRR Management entities. Ensuring efficient Climate Information, DRR and MHEWS in LAC".
  • Comprehensive Risk Management:
    • Launch of the Caribbean CRM report
    • Road to COP28: Scaling up Joint Action for Comprehensive Disaster and Climate Risk Management (UNDRR, 5Cs, CDEMA)
    • Connecting Weather-Climate Services with empowered communities for resilient adaptation. (UNDRR, WMO, UNEP, IAI).
    • Integrated Approach between Climate Adaptation and Disaster Risk Reduction for Local Level (UNDRR, CAF, Global Factor, Municipality of Panama)
    • Local Governments Facing Climate Change: A Multidimensional Look Towards Resilience and Sustainability (ICLEI, Mexico, Central America, and the Caribbean (MECS) Region), UNDRR)

Asia-Pacific Climate Week, 13-17 November 2023, Johor

  • Early Warning for All as a platform for cross-sectoral collaboration to address the impact of the 1.5 C climate trajectory

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