COP28 enhances role of private sector in addressing climate change: UNICEF Official

Carla Haddad Mardini, Director of Private Fundraising and Partnerships at UNICEF, said that less than 1% of investments coming from global multilateral funds are going into youth-led innovations and creative solutions to fight climate change, while only 2.4% of climate finance from major multilateral climate funds is directed to help children.

In a statement to the Emirates News Agency (WAM) on the sidelines of COP28, Mardini stressed that the climate crisis is a crisis that affects everyone, especially children, noting, “The climate crisis is a child rights crisis.”

The UN official expressed hope that COP28 will pave the way for COP30 in Brazil in two years, especially in the Amazon region, which “is hit by climate change.”

She called for the inclusion of youth in the negotiations in an interactive way, saying, “Our appeal is that children and youth are part and parcel of any discussion, debate, negotiation in a meaningful way, in a participatory way, and in an intentional way where they have been presen
t here we’ve seen massive youth and children delegations here in Dubai for COP.”

She explained that COP28 has achieved many important results and initiatives, most notably the Loss and Damage Fund and the issue of addressing mitigation and adaptation to the effects of climate change. She stressed, “We need to look at adaptation and mitigation as two sides of the same coin.”

Climate adaptation protects people and places by making them less vulnerable to the impacts of climate change.

She pointed out that UNICEF, a UN agency, supports the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) for children around the world through voluntary contributions from governments and the private sector.

The UN official stressed that the total contributions to UNICEF amounted to $9.3 billion, of which the private sector contributed about 3.1 billion to support the global programmes.

She noted, “This is massive, but it’s still a drop in the ocean. We need to really aggregate and crowd in private sector and public sec
tor to support the big multilaterals, to really move at scale and make a difference in some of the hardest hit areas by climate change.”

In order to advance climate action, Haddad highlighted the significance of studying issues in a practical way with sustainability and mobilising capital to give the private sector the opportunity to transition from small and medium-sized projects to large projects.

She pointed out that the current climate summit in Dubai is a good opportunity for a lot of momentum that is happening for the first time due to the large presence of the private sector, compared to the public sector, which was more dominant in the previous edition, COP27 in Sharm el-Sheikh.

The Director of Private Fundraising and Partnerships at UNICEF stressed the need to mobilise stakeholders and involve the private sector more broadly and the public sector on a large scale to make a difference and support areas affected by climate change.

Source: Emirates News Agency