New Guiding principles for financing climate and health solutions to protect health endorsed

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New Guiding principles for financing climate and health solutions to protect health endorsed

Guiding Principles respond to low- and middle-income countries’ calls to mobilize finance to save lives now and in the future as the climate crisis threatens global health 

A consortium of multilateral development banks and funders, countries and philanthropies today published the Guiding Principles for Financing Climate and Health Solutions (“Guiding Principles”), announced at the World Climate Action Summit during the 28th session of Conference of Parties to the UNFCCC (COP28) in Dubai.

The Guiding Principles establish a shared vision for financing that will rapidly reduce greenhouse gas emissions to improve health, protect people from the range of climate risks to health, and build resilient, environmentally sustainable health systems. The Guiding Principles were developed by the COP28 Presidency in collaboration with The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria, The Green Climate Fund, The Rockefeller Foundation, the World Health Organization and the ATACH Working Group on Financing, and in consultation with over 50 financing partners and civil society organizations. The Guiding Principles have been endorsed by 41 organizations, with more expected following COP28.

Funding for mitigation and adaptation at the climate-health intersection falls well short of need. While over 90% of countries include health priorities in their Nationally Determined Contributions (the self-defined national climate pledges under the Paris Agreement), only 0.5% of multilateral climate funding is allocated to projects that explicitly address human health – and likewise, global health funders have not integrated action to address climate change into their investments. The Guiding Principles build coherence and foster collaboration across funders to accelerate the allocation of finance for the countries and communities that need it most.

The Guiding Principles acknowledge critical elements of accessible and effective financing and the need to mobilize additional funds for climate and health solutions. Key pillars of the Guiding Principles include:

  • accelerating transformative climate and health solutions to save and improve lives now and in the future;
  • creating equitable, inclusive, accessible, and holistic approaches to climate and health financing and solutions; and
  • building the core policymaking and implementation capacities of countries, communities, and financing institutions to deliver climate and health solutions.

“Climate change is increasing health risks in every region of the world, including millions more people at risk of heat-related illness, food insecurity, infectious diseases, and poverty. A significant mobilization of financing is needed to combat these impacts, which to date have been under-recognized and under-funded,” said Adnan Amin, CEO of COP28. “The COP28 Guiding Principles for Financing Climate and Health Solutions is the critical first step to address this, bringing new funders to the table in recognition of the urgent need. We are grateful for our partners stepping up to deliver finance where it is needed most.”

The Guiding Principles build on existing development finance principles and mechanisms, including the Addis Ababa Action Agenda, Paris Climate Agreement, and The Bridgetown Initiative, to support a global policy agenda that will advance the aims of countries most affected by climate change. The Guiding Principles were drafted by the five initiating parties, revised following consultations with over 50 stakeholders, and ultimately endorsed by 41 agencies (as of 1 December 2023) representing the public, private, and philanthropic sectors.

The initiating parties have committed to continued collaboration to ensure implementation and accountability in partnership with leaders of countries most affected by climate change and representatives from civil society.


“Climate change is one the biggest threats to human health – and communities need support to survive it. Rethinking development will help countries access much-needed resources to save lives in a warming world for generations to come,” said Dr Tedros Ghebreyesus, Director-General, World Health Organization.

“International cooperation is essential to ensuring healthy, resilient communities in vulnerable regions grappling with the effects of climate change. The Green Climate Fund is a proud partner and signatory to the Guiding Principles, which are an important framework for coalescing partners around strategies to mobilize more finance for climate-informed health investments in countries that need them the most,” said Mafalda Duarte, Executive Director, Green Climate Fund.

“Adaptation is an imperative for today, not tomorrow, as climate change is challenging our ability to deliver sustainable impact. The Global Fund is joining other global funders in prioritizing country-driven efforts to address environmental health threats,” said Peter Sands, Executive Director, The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria.

“The world’s health systems need to be transformed to ensure people can not only survive the climate crisis, but live, work, and prosper how and where they want. The Guiding Principles will accelerate the coordinated action needed to deliver not just more funding, but the better-quality funding necessary for health systems transformation. We are proud to endorse these Principles and are committed to leveraging our resources to protect the health of people and the planet,” said Dr Rajiv J Shah, President, The Rockefeller Foundation.

“The Adaptation Fund is pleased to endorse the Guiding Principles for Financing Climate and Health Solutions. With more than 3 billion people worldwide highly vulnerable to climate change and facing increased health risks, it is imperative to accelerate adaptation measures that build healthy, resilient communities and protect people from a range of climate risks to health. We are committed to supporting the most vulnerable to adapt to climate change through country-driven and locally led action, and already fund projects that are improving access to clean water, hygiene, food security, reducing climate risks and building resilience and healthy lives at the same time. We need to scale this up to address urgent global adaptation needs, and we hope these Principles will help strengthen that ambition on the ground,” said Mr Mikko Ollikainen, Head, Adaptation Fund.

“Climate change is a public health emergency that can no longer be ignored. Health has become the human face of climate change. The Guiding Principles are a pivotal and timely stride to improve financing at the intersection of climate and health, in line with netFWD’s priorities,” said Bathylle Missika, Head of Division, Gender, Philanthropy & Partnerships, OECD Development Centre, Network of Foundations.