COSP16: Towards Disability–Inclusive Climate Action: Do We Have All Tools for Change?

15 June 2023

Side event to the 16th session of the Conference of States Parties to the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities

UNPRPD Fund in collaboration with International Disability Alliance, International Disability and Development Consortium, Global Greengrants Fund, and Global Action on Disability (GLAD) Network Disability-Inclusive Climate Action working group will host a side event to the 16th session of the Conference of States Parties to the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, ‘Towards Disability-Inclusive Climate Action: Do We Have All Tools for Change?‘ on 15 June, 9.45am to 11am, Conf Room C

Abstract:

This session provides the most recent update on four main pillars of disability-inclusive climate action and outlines some practical next steps for strengthening them:

  • Relevant data and evidence-based knowledge;
  • Disability-inclusive policies and commitments;
  • Participation of persons with disabilities and their organizations; and
  • Access to funding.

Background and rationale:

Despite explicit obligations to ensure the inclusion of persons with disabilities in all areas affecting them articulated in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, and the mandate to ensure addressing the impact of climate change on persons with disabilities in the Paris Agreement, reviewing the international decisions on climate change as well as national policies and commitments clearly demonstrates lack of concrete measures to address the impact of climate change on persons with disabilities and removing barriers for their participation as climate actors.

In recent years, climate change has been increasingly prioritized by the disability movement as an area of concern leading to strong calls by persons with disabilities, their organizations, and allies for more inclusive and participatory climate processes and policies at all levels. As a result, a number of valuable resources have been developed, and some initiatives have emerged to address the lack of tools required to enhance disability-inclusive climate action. Persons with disabilities, their organizations, and allies are in a critical moment to transform the climate action agenda to be more accessible, inclusive, and participatory.

The annual Conference of States Parties to the UN CRPD Convention provides a unique opportunity for key stakeholders active in this area to get together, share what they have produced and achieved, strategize on the next steps, and initiate new collaborations. The present event is being organized to provide such an opportunity.

Objectives:

The purpose of this event is to serve as an open and critical discussion on achievements, gaps, and opportunities to address the systematic exclusion of persons with disabilities from the climate action agenda at national and international levels. At the end of this event participants will gain the most updated information on the following questions:

  1. The available evidence and data on the impact of climate change on persons with disabilities;
  2. The current status and gaps on disability-inclusive climate policies and decisions at national and international levels;
  3. Barriers for active engagement and meaningful participation of persons with disabilities and their representative organizations in climate justice processes and mechanisms;
  4. Barriers to access funding to advance disability-inclusive climate action and initiatives to address them.

Agenda and Format:

The event will be an interactive round-table with the participation of four stakeholders actively engaging on disability-inclusive climate action.

Round-table participants:

  • Moderator: Ola Abualghaib, Manager Technical Secretariat, UNPRPD
  • Opening Remarks: Diana Dalton, Deputy Director and Head of Gender and Equalities, Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO)
  • Panelist: Yolanda Munoz, Coordinator of the Disability Rights and Climate Justice Advisory Board, Global Greengrants Fund (GGF)
  • Panelist: Mary Keogh, Vice Chair, International Disability and Development Consortium (IDDC)
  • Panelist: Elham Youssefian, Inclusive Humanitarian Action and Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) Advisor, International Disability Alliance (IDA)

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