COP28 – Climate Action Must Contribute to Poverty Eradication


In November and December 2023, the Conference of the Parties on Climate Change (COP) will celebrate its 28th session in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. For COP28 ATD Fourth World will not have a delegation present. But we will make sure our recommendations are heard.

People living in poverty: hardest hit by climate change

People and communities in extreme poverty around the world are hardest hit by the effects of climate change. Yet they are the least responsible1 for its causes. They also have the fewest resources to protect themselves from it. With the suffering they have experienced first-hand from recent extreme climate events (cyclones, tornadoes, floods, droughts, heat waves, forest fires, etc.), they should be at the centre of climate action. While the wealthy in each country have the means to adapt without financial support, an important percentage of the world population is unable to repair the material and immaterial damages caused by these events.

Commitments already made by states who link climate action to poverty eradication

As stated in the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement, the eradication of extreme poverty is an integral part of climate action. This was reiterated in the Glasgow Climate Pact, which recognises the need “to ensure a just transition that promotes sustainable development and poverty eradication, as well as the creation of decent and quality jobs”. As the first binding agreement in climate action, signed by 196 countries, the Paris Agreement should dictate the basis of all climate legislation, both nationally and internationally

Together with the states commitments to implement Sustainable Development Goal 1 –that aims to “end poverty in all its forms everywhere”-, this shows the internationally-agreed importance of poverty eradication to advance towards greener and more just societies.

A COP28 that must concretely translate these commitments into mitigation, adaptation, global assessment, just transitions and loss and damage policies

ATD Fourth World supports the synthesis report of the technical dialogue of the first global stocktake published on 8 September 2023 that referred more than ten times to climate actions that contribute to poverty eradication in mitigation, adaptation, just transition, loss and damage, and financial measures. It highlights the need for people with a direct experience of poverty to be involved in building solutions and the need for financial institutions to address climate change in the context of poverty eradication.

Overcoming extreme poverty must be central to all public policy and not just social policy.

Five key climate action recommendations

Since 2015, ATD Fourth World has promoted five key climate action recommendations. They are now, more than ever, necessary:

  • place a special emphasis on the bottom 20% to make sure that no one is left behind
  • tackle climate change together with people in poverty
  • ensure that climate change finance focusses on the most vulnerable populations
  • implement social protection floors
  • ensure that people in poverty can benefit from training and quality and decent work as part of a just transition towards an economy that respects people and the planet.

ATD Fourth World calls on all international and national institutions, governments, local authorities, businesses, NGOs, and citizens to unite and act in order to implement climate action that contributes to eliminating extreme poverty.

Position paper in English

  1. The richest 10% is responsible for more than 50% of greenhouse gas emissions while the poorest 50% only emit 15%.
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