ACT member Diakonia Sweden shares legal brief on breaches of IHL in hostilities in Israel and Gaza

On December 5, the Diakonia IHL Centre has launched a legal brief on the 2023 hostilities in Israel and Gaza. The brief assesses violations of international humanitarian law committed, respectively, by Hamas and other armed groups from Gaza and by the Israeli military during the time period from 7 October to 8 November 2023. The analysis in this brief is not exhaustive but rather reflects emblematic issues of concern that are indicative of wider patterns of conduct.

See below a short summary of the main findings:

 Today, we have released our detailed international humanitarian law (IHL) report on the conduct of armed groups from Gaza led by Hamas (Hamas forces) and Israel, covering the time period from 7 October to 8 November 2023.  In short, we have identified that both armed groups from Gaza (Hamas and others) and Israel have violated IHL. The conclusions of our report draw upon a factual account of events derived from a range of publicly available sources of information, which we have endeavoured to verify primarily by cross-referencing from a large and diverse set of credible sources with a high degree of fact-checking and verification.

 Our main findings are as follows:

  • Our report concludes that there is a large and compelling body of evidence that provides strong indications that armed groups from Gaza (Hamas and others) committed serious and widespread violations of IHL, and that their members perpetrated acts constituting war crimes.
  • Strong grounds to conclude that Israel’s cutting off of indispensable resources (as part of its declared ‘complete siege’ of Gaza) amounts to collective punishment, and serious concerns about intentionally starving the civilian population as a method of warfare.
  • Israel has also failed to comply with its obligation to allow for and facilitate the safe passage of humanitarian relief to all civilians in need.
  • There are serious concerns that the general approach of the Israeli government and military in the military operations conducted in Gaza is one of deliberate disregard for the restraints that IHL imposes on the conduct of hostilities, in breach of the principles of distinction, proportionality, and the duty to take precautions in attack.
  • We are gravely concerned about the harm inflicted upon hospitals, medical facilities, and medical personnel. We intend to address this further in a separate document.

Access the full brief here.

ACT Alliance at Inter-religious Convention 2023

Reflecting on the faith methodologies for gender justice, ACT forum representatives from Uganda, Ethiopia, Tanzania, and Zimbabwe shared their experiences working as faith-based organizations.

In Ethiopia, the forum ‘s methodology looked at theological reflections, through two major lenses of the Ethiopian Orthodox as well as Evangelical churches, who are also part of the ACT forum. Through the theological reflections on gender justice, they developed resources for integrating gender into the curriculum, especially in parishes as well as in theological colleges. Read more here.

One of the added value working with faith actors in theological reflections for gender justice is how we can get to communities and influence, through the church structures,” says Million Shiferaw, NCA and ACT Ethiopia forum member.

In Uganda, addressing transformative masculinities is one of the key areas that the forum engages in gender justice work, countering cultural norms through media campaigns and working with male faith leaders as champions for gender justice.

There is a need to appreciate transformative masculinities as one of the key pillars in ensuring human rights protected at the community level and affirming human dignity and justice for all” Vincent Mayega, RACOBAO, representing ACT Uganda forum.

In the Zimbabwe forum, one of the approaches, working with the ACT Zimbabwe forum’s gender community of practice, was on integrating gender in peacebuilding work. During the 2023 general elections in Zimbabwe, the forum members monitored gender-based violence (GBV) and provided referral pathways. In addition, the forum has been active in the 16 days of activism campaigns, working with several other actors.

Working with faith actors in Zimbabwe has enabled us to reach out to communities and as Ecumenical Church Leadership Forum (ECLF), use the Gender Transformative Approach (GTA) which influences the change of attitudes, behavior and norms that are at the very core of unequal power relations and gender inequality. The approach has been key to addressing the root causes of gender-based violence,” says Pamhidzai Thaka from ACT Zimbabwe forum and ECLF

In advancing reproductive justice, Dr. Paul Mmbando brought the perspective on how the voices of faith leaders are unique in bringing a transformative impact on reproductive justice. Church hospitals, including the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Tanzania (ELCT), provide access to information and reproductive justice services. Dr. Paul ,Who is also a medical practitioner noted the added value of working with faith actors in Tanzania, as one of the effective advocacy avenues in reaching communities, as well as in influencing policymaking.

In our work, we work a lot through inter-faith approach and we have made great strides, when faith leaders speak, they bear with them a unique language,” says Dr.Paul

ACT Alliance’s global gender justice program is of great essence in bringing together members through conversatorio, learning together as well as working as ACT Alliance at local context on gender justuce work.

“One of the major work for the global gender justice program has been to address gender inequalities that are considered taboo or difficult by engaging members and other stakeholders in dialogues to listen to one another and working at local context.” says Elaine, ACT’s Global Gender justice programme manager.

Co-hosted by ACT Alliance and other partners , the inter-religious convention brought together over 160 faith leaders and activists from more than 25 countries globally  to deliberate on 3 main thematic areas on gender justice , justice and peace as well as freedom  of religion and belief and inclusion.

The three day  convention, from 3rd to 6th December  brought a unified voice of faith  as change makers, in affirming human dignity, justice and freedom for all.


Press Release: COP28 delivers disappointing results

For Immediate Release

December 13, 2023 13:00 GST

Perhaps not surprisingly, COP28 moved into overtime after the Presidency released a weak draft text on December 11, one that was met with disdain by many nations, including the US and the UK, and with civil society organisations and faith groups demanding stronger text.

Although the Presidency was determined to end by noon on December 12th, that timeline was not met, with the final plenary only beginning at 11am  on the morning of December 13. Parties worked through the night to deliver a sort-of consensus, one that left at least one Global South group noting for the record that they hadn’t finished their discussion before the gavel fell.

ACT Alliance followed the negotiations for more than two weeks, with ACT members from around the world keeping track of all climate finance issues, in particular Adaptation and Loss and Damage funding, with an eye on the Global Stocktake. How  human rights and gender were treated in the negotiations were also key concerns.

Overall, COP28 started on a high note for those concerned about climate justice. Parties agreed to operationalise the Loss and Damage Fund with pledges of up to $792 million.  Sadly,  this is less than 1 percent  of what is needed to support people facing the greatest challenges from the impacts of climate change.

Global Stocktake

Unfortunately, the ambition of the Global Stocktake (GST)  is the exact opposite of what is needed to keep global warming below 1.5 degrees Celsius.

What we see in the GST is weak language on human rights. Merely respecting human rights is not enough.

Elena Cedillo of Lutheran World Federation and co-chair of the ACT Alliance Climate Justice group, comments:

Protecting, promoting and fulfilling human rights must be at the heart of the climate negotiations. Leaders at the COP28 climate summit should have put human rights at the centre. Ambitious climate action prioritises justice and equity; there is no climate justice without human rights.

Loss and Damage

 The agreement to operationalise the Loss and Damage Fund on the very first day was a breakthrough.

Elena Cedillo, LWF and co-chair of ACT’s Climate Justice group, comments:

While pledges came in, much more is needed to support people affected by climate change-related loss and damage. Contributions to the fund should be based on common but differentiated responsibilities and the polluter pays principle, not be made on a voluntary basis.

Maua Maro, LWF delegate to COP28 comments:

Though the result of COP28  is disappointing, youth will never give up pushing for more ambition and a clear path to implement the agreed operationalisation of the Loss and Damage Fund.

As youth living in a community where there is no more room for adaptation, mainstreaming non-economic loss and damage, especially on the intangible impacts caused by climate change such as human-induced mobility and displacement, loss of land and people, culture and the knowledge of Indigenous peoples, must be addressed without delay.

Climate Finance

 Julius Mbatia, ACT Alliance Climate Justice lead, comments:

Yet again, climate finance has played an intricate role in determining the level of ambition at COP28. It is clear that the COP28 finance package is worrying. Commitment by rich nations to provide public, new and additional, grant-based concessional finance fell through the cracks on many occasions.


The negotiations in Dubai adopted a framework for the Global Goal on Adaptation. It suggests targets to seven thematic areas and acknowledges the need to develop indicators based on best available science for accountable monitoring of the progress of securing people’s lives and livelihoods in a changing climate.

Furthermore, the framework urges parties to build adaptation action in an inclusive fashion, taking into consideration and involving localised communities, Indigenous peoples and other marginalised groups such as persons with disabilities.

Although the decision pinpoints the need to ramp up action and support for adaptation, poor and vulnerable countries should not be lulled into a false sense of security: the decision only recalls and acknowledges previous commitments that are hardly sufficient for closing the adaptation gap.

Niko Humalisto of Felm in Finland, an ACT Alliance member, comments:

It is saddening that the decision doesn’t demand new and additional finances from developed countries. Without adequate resources, we fail to guarantee the right to development for those who bear the heaviest brunt of the carbon legacy of the richest nations.


Jessica Novia of ACT member YAKKUM in Indonesia, and an ACT  COP28 delegate, comments:

Climate justice should go hand in hand with gender justice. In Indonesia, there were more than 3,000 disasters in 2023, overwhelmingly hydro meteorological disasters. These disproportionately affect women, girls and people with disabilities. Funding for loss and damage should reach them before its too late.


Mattias Söderberg of DanChurchAid and co-chair of ACT’s Climate Justice group comments:

We now have a new direction for world development. The fossil era is ending and we should move towards a green future. That is great, but the agreement is unfortunately full of loopholes. It will thus be up to each country, how they will move forward. At the same time there is no promise about additional funding to the global south, which means that the transition may not happen. The next COP will focus on finance, and that is when we will find out if this green transition will be possible.


Savanna Sullivan for intergenerational justice /youth engagement-LWF Program Executive for Youth comments:

The world and the COP must acknowledge that not only does climate change disproportionately affect young people, but that our conversations about justice are incomplete without the creativity and wisdom of every generation – including youth.

Human rights

Sara Savva, Deputy Director of Syria’s GOPA-DERD, an ACT member, and an ACT COP28 Delegate comments:

Climate change is not only a political or economic issue, but also a human rights issue – the biggest in human history. Unless we adopt a human rights-based approach to guide policies and measures of COP28 mitigation and adaptation, climate justice will be a mirage; indirectly violating human rights.

To arrange interviews, please contact:

Mattias Söderberg, co-chair ACT Climate Justice group, Phone or WA +45 29 70 06 09

Fiona Connelly, ACT Alliance Communications, phone or WA +1 647 210-1238

COP28 Blog: New and additional monies important for Loss and Damage Fund

By Nushrat Chowdhury 

The historic agreement to operationalise the Loss and Damage Fund was completed in the early day of COP28. Thanks goes to the host of this year’s climate summit, the United Arab Emirates, for all their work in the run up to this moment.  

Despite having no obligation to do so, the United Arab Emirates committed $100 million to the Fund, acknowledging its significance in helping climate vulnerable communities around the world. This gesture has paved the way for the industrialised nations to support the immediate capitalisation of the fund – only fair, as they are responsible for about 80 percent of historical greenhouse gas emissions.  

At the time of writing, developed countries including the UK, the US, Ireland, Germany, Denmark, the Netherlands, Japan, Canada, Italy, Estonia and Spain had pledged around $500 million to the Fund. This is too little to support the needs of climate impacted communities. The economic costs of loss and damage in developing countries is estimated to be between $290 to $580 billion by 2030. This doesn’t include losses that are difficult to measure, such as the loss of territory, ecosystem services, and biodiversity. 

While these pledges to the Loss and Damage Fund are appreciated, it is important to determine whether it is new and additional finance in the form of grants. Repurposing previously committed finance from humanitarian assistance or any other overseas development aid (ODA) will limit support for ever-growing humanitarian needs. Relabelling mitigation and adaptation finance as loss and damage finance will put more lives and livelihoods in danger. Given the interlinkages between mitigation and adaptation costs and loss and damage, delayed climate action will only contribute to increased and more frequent losses and damages in climate afflicted communities. 

Addressing climate change is a matter of justice. Poorer communities are disproportionately impacted by the climate crisis despite having the least responsibility for causing it. New and additional grants-based finance can help climate change-affected communities rebuild their lives and livelihoods after a disaster strikes or following slow-onset disasters such as sea-level rise, river erosion, or desertification. There’s no way that relabeling or repurposing finance is acceptable in battling the climate crisis.  

Developed countries also need to indicate their potential contribution in replenishing the Fund, as a significant portion of the finance pledged at this COP will be used to establish the facility with some finance going to related funding arrangements. This will signal the possible amount of money truly going to the impacted communities. Creating a direct access pathway to the Fund for communities is critical – enabling disaster-affected communities to reach out to the Fund without intermediaries. 

The many pledges to support the newly operationalised Fund are positive signs. Yet they shouldn’t take away from previously committed climate action finance.  

Nushrat Chowdhury is a climate policy advisor with Christian Aid, based in Dacca, Bangladesh. 

MEDIA RELEASE: COP28 Global Stocktake draft offers “small fruits among large thorns” 



December 11, 2023 

Dubai, United Arab Emirates – The text released on the Global Stocktake (GST) on Monday evening, December 11, offers only “small fruits among large thorns,” says Julius Mbatia, ACT Alliance’s global climate justice programme manager. 

After nearly two weeks of discussions in Dubai, the United Arab Emirates’ presidency has presented a text to the plenary that offers very few wins amidst a sea of disappointing, unambitious provisions. 

 Julius Mbatia, ACT Alliance, comments: 

The GST text is weak in ambition.  It does not offer needed crucial decisions but typically restates previous agreements while carefully not committing to fully supporting NDCs and NAPs. 

The GGA text too carefully steers away from developed country obligations to provide finance to developing countries; only recalls COP26 doubling adaptation finance decision; and is silent on the future need for developed countries to provide finance for adaptation. This is not a  reassuring finance package amidst worsening climate impacts.

 Elena Cedillo, Lutheran World Federation, co-chair of the ACT Alliance Climate Justice Group comments: 

The current text of the GST falls far, far short of what is needed to keep the goal of limiting global warming to 1.5°C in line with the goals of the Paris Agreement. Governments must raise their ambition to face the climate emergency. The survival of our planet is at stake. 

 Rev. Tamsyn Kereopa of the Arawa & Tuwharetoa tribes, Anglican Church in Aotearoa New Zealand  and Polynesia comments: 

We are at a tipping point and strong commitments are needed now in order to safeguard Mother Earth and the life she supports. This text therefore comes as a devastating blow. It is tragic that politics and the economic interests of the powerful are still the strongest priority for many parties. Such short sightedness will be directly responsible for the coming irreversible damage. 

Maro Maua, Lutheran World Federation youth climate activist, comments: 

As youth participating in COP28, this is very disappointing. Governments must show commitment to future generations. Raising ambition is a must to provide a future for future generations. 

George Devendorf, Senior Director of External Relations, Church World Service, comments: 

Tonight’s draft agreements illustrate a remarkable degree of timidity at a time calling for courageous, principled action. As COP28 draws to a close, we implore nations to seize this moment, demonstrate true leadership, and deliver a robust, accountable, and just roadmap to help humanity navigate the daunting challenges that lie before us.  

 Savanna Sullivan, Lutheran World Federation, comments: 

I am angered by the lack of government commitment in the GST. Their actions prioritise the profits of a few over both the survival of the planet and over the voices of millions of young leaders calling for change. Phasing out of fossil fuels quickly is essential for the respect of God’s creation and the survival of future generations. 

Mattias Söderberg, DanChurchAid, co-chair of the ACT Alliance Climate Justice Group comments: 

 The text throws out the target of 1.5.  It is a scandal. 

Most items are voluntary. If this document is adopted, the effect will depend fully on political will by parties. Text that could be positive is often couched in nebulous terms like “notes” and “could include” without actually requiring anything. In particular, finance – critical to implementation of ambitious mitigation, adaptation and loss and damage actions – is largely lacking from the new text. 

The new proposed #COP28 text will not lead us towards the 1.5 degree target. I do hope that parties continue to engage in the negotiations, to increase their ambition.

 ACT Alliance joins many parties in the developing world and civil society and other organisations in calling for a phase out of fossil fuels.  “This phase out must go hand in hand with a just transition and finance for the phase out to support developing countries as they shift,” notes Simon Chambers, ACT Alliance’s director of communications.  

Media contact: 

Simon Chambers, Director of Communications, ACT Alliance 

WhatsApp: +1-416-435-0972 email: 

Empowering Refugees through Humanitarian Quality and Accountability Programming in Uganda

Author: Rizwan Iqbal | Global Accountability and Safeguarding Coordinator, ACT Alliance

Uganda, a country known for its generous approach towards refugees, has been a safe haven for thousands fleeing conflict and persecution in neighboring nations. In a bid to further enhance the support provided to refugees and ensure they receive dignified assistance, a workshop on “Core Humanitarian Standard (CHS)” was hosted by ACT Uganda Forum and facilitated by ACT Secretariat’s staff Mr. Rizwan Iqbal and Ms. Caroline Nguju on August 30-31, 2023. It was a collaborative effort between several ACT Uganda Forum members to strengthen the quality and accountability of humanitarian aid. Thanks to the active participation of dedicated participants from Church of Uganda (CoU), Rural Action Community Based Organization (RACBO) , Cordaid, Dan Church Aid (DCA), Finn Church Aid (FCA), Lutheran World Federation (LWF) and World Renew.

The workshop was designed based on a pre-Learning Needs Assessment and for 89% of the attendees this was the first comprehensive workshop on CHS. Participants engaged in vibrant discussions, shared best practices, and identified key challenges in humanitarian aid delivery. The diversity of perspectives and experiences enriched the discussions enabling them to develop a comprehensive action plan to enhance the quality and accountability of aid programs.

The plans included:

  1. Capacity Building: Strengthening the capacity of staff and partners involved in refugee assistance to ensure they have the necessary skills and knowledge to deliver high-quality aid based on Humanitarian Principles, Code of Conduct and CHS Commitments.
  2. Accountability Mechanisms: Implementing robust accountability mechanisms to track the effectiveness and impact of aid programs, ensuring that they meet the needs of refugees. Including CHS requirements in the monitoring tools and establishing/improving Complaints Response Mechanism.
  3. Community Engagement: Promoting greater engagement with refugee communities to understand their unique needs and preferences, enabling more tailored and effective assistance.
  4. Data and Monitoring: Enhancing data collection and monitoring systems to provide real-time feedback and improve decision-making in aid delivery.
  5. Collaborative Partnerships: Encouraging collaboration among ACT Forum members, other humanitarian organizations, government agencies, and NGOs to leverage resources and expertise effectively.

In conclusion, the CHS workshop in Uganda received good feedback and participants marked it useful during the workshop evaluation, thanks to the dedicated participants, the exceptional hosting arrangements by LWF, and the outstanding coordination by Ms. Irene – ACT Uganda Forum Coordinator. The action plans developed during this workshop will undoubtedly have a positive impact on the lives of refugees in Uganda, improving the quality and accountability of humanitarian assistance.

As we move forward, let us continue to work together to uphold the principles of humanity, impartiality, neutrality and independence, ensuring that refugees in Uganda receive the support and assistance they deserve. Together, we can make a difference in the lives of those who need it most.

ACT Alliance’s innovative mentorship for greater CHS impact

This news is a duplicate of an article  that was originally published on the CHS Alliance’s website

ACT Alliance, a dedicated CHS Alliance member, has embarked on an innovative approach to support programme quality and accountability within its membership. ACT Alliance has been CHS Certified since 2017. Committed to the Core Humanitarian Standard (CHS) and its transformative potential, ACT Alliance initiated a pilot programme to mentor and guide selected national organisations through the CHS self-assessment process.

As a result of this new approach, ACT Alliance and CHS Alliance are witnessing increased interest from local NGOs operating in similar contexts. Rizwan Iqbal, Global Accountability & Safeguarding Coordinator at ACT Alliance, emphasises the importance of supporting local and national NGOs: “As meeting the CHS is so fundamental for providing the type of accountable aid crisis-affected people have the right to, donors and large partners must support them to achieve this.”

This pioneering initiative by ACT Alliance, supported by its funding member Kerk in Actie, is not just about meeting standards; it’s a journey of empowerment, collaboration, and positive transformation that is rippling through the sector. As these organisations continue to champion accountability and quality improvement, their impact resonates far beyond this pilot.

Global engagement

ACT Alliance established clear criteria for engagement with the pilot initiative and hosted a global webinar to explain how it works to potential participants. The response was very strong, with over 20 applications received. Ultimately, four organisations—Anglican Development Services (ADS) Kenya, Cuban Council of Churches, Service Chretien d’Haiti (SCH), and YAKKUM Emergency Unit (YEU) Indonesia—were chosen to participate based on their applications which showed a good understanding of the pilot and how they would constructively utilise the support available.

Flexible support

ACT Alliance provided these organisations with technical support and a flexible grant of USD 7,500 to conduct a comprehensive CHS self-assessment and improvement plan. The funds were not restricted to specific uses, allowing organisations to leverage existing efforts, use innovative approaches and address their unique needs.

“For the Council of Churches of Cuba, conducting a CHS self-assessment represented a great opportunity for staff self-reflection on how to improve the quality of our response to affected communities and renew our commitment to more transparent accountability. Without the support to carry it out, we would not be able to evaluate ourselves in the same way.” Maria L. Navas Zorrilla, Humanitarian & Development Specialist Adviser, Cuban Council of Churches.

Hands-on help

While these organisations were already incorporating the CHS into their operations, they sought verification against the Standard to better understand and act on the CHS Commitments. ACT Alliance collaborated closely with each organisation, offering support in initiating the self-assessment process, identifying resources in relevant languages, and fostering senior management commitment.

Throughout the process, ACT Alliance played a strong mentoring role, offering guidance, specialised training where needed, and assistance in navigating tools. Ernst Abraham, Executive Director of local ACT Alliance member SCH Haiti, highlighted the impact of this support: “SCH received continuous support from ACT and CHS Alliance. This assistance made a dramatic difference, and without it, SCH would not be able to make the assessment correctly and completely.”

Transformative changes

The self-assessment process has become a catalyst for internal and external collaboration, as organisations examine precisely where they need strengthening and what resources—internal or external—are required.

The simultaneous engagement of pilot organisations in the self-assessment process has fostered peer learning, creating a supportive community working towards a common goal. Anastasia Maylinda, Executive Member Manager of YEU Indonesia, noted, “This self-assessment process has had a positive impact, especially in areas of organisational governance, operational and partnership building.” Ernst Abraham of SCH, Haiti highlighted a significant change in staff sensitivity to abuse and sexual exploitation, leading to the hiring of more women as field staff to better support vulnerable women.

Charles Macharia, Programs Manager of ADS Kenya, shared, “We now feel more confident engaging at many different levels with quality and accountability mechanisms nationally, regionally and globally. The self-assessment process also gives us the chance for different departments to work together internally on our shared quality and accountability goals.”

Championing the cause

These pilot organisations have become champions of CHS in their respective countries, actively promoting the Standard and sharing their experiences. YEU in Indonesia recently conducted a learning workshop on the CHS self-assessment journey for ACT Alliance Forum members in Indonesia and local partners, setting an example for other organisations. ADS Kenya is actively encouraging and supporting other entities to initiate their CHS self-assessments.

Leadership in action

ACT Alliance have shown what is possible when national organisations are proactively supported to make the most of the CHS. CHS Alliance calls on all INGOs to actively champion the CHS: now is the time for the CHS movement to step up and ensure all organisations can fulfil our shared CHS Commitments to the people we serve.

COP28 Press release: The final stretch – ambition must go up, and not be watered down

Negotiations at the UN Climate Summit, COP28, are struggling. The usual conflicts over finance and equity are making it difficult for parties to agree. The new text, which builds on consultations with the parties, is a sign of some worrying  compromises, as they inadequately  acknowledge the seriousness of the climate crisis. Still, countries are far apart and getting ambitious decisions at this COP seems a tall order.  

This is despite COP 28 starting on a good note with the adoption of a decision to set up the Loss and Damage fund and funding arrangements. 

Nushrat Chowdhury, Climate Justice Policy Advisor, Christian Aid, comments:

  • This is a landmark  moment for communities and people on the frontline of climate induced loss and damage impacts. The fund must be capitalized and continuously replenished to a scale that meets the loss and damage impacts costed at hundreds of billions of dollars each year.

2023 has been full of climate related disasters, in both the global north and the global south, and climate scientists have delivered fresh and concerning research, indicating that we need bold and drastic decisions to manage the climate crisis.

Mattias Söderberg, co-chair of the ACT Alliance Climate Justice Group, comments:

  • We must remember that the climate crisis is about people, and their lives and livelihoods.  For people who are displaced by flooding in South Sudan, or who face landslides in Nepal, the need for mitigation, adaptation and efforts to address loss and damage, is evident.

Controversial elements include the phasing out of fossil fuels. A phase out of all fossil fuels, not just unabated fossil fuels is urgently required in order to keep global temperature rise to 1.5C. However, failure to phase out fossil fuels without appropriate measures to create alternative income and employment and to ensure access to renewable energy for all through a just transition will have devastating impacts on growth and development around the world. Thus, climate finance, and initiatives to promote collaboration to ensure this just transition, is the key to a strong COP28 outcome.

Sara Savva Deputy Director GOPA-DERD/ACT Alliance – Member of ACT MENA CJWG comments:

  • If we do not act now, consequences will be terrifying for us all, especially for the most vulnerable in the global south, as worldwide temperature increase moves beyond 1,5 degrees.

Julius Mbatia, ACT Alliance global climate justice programme manager, comments:

  • It is undeniably true that the world must transition from fossil fuel-run development to greener, renewable energy powered development. This transition must be fair, and equitable with rich countries taking the lead and providing sufficient finance  to cushion the transition in countries without equal levels of wealth and capacity. 

Mattias Söderberg, co-chair of the ACT Alliance Climate Justice Group, comments:

  • The only option we have is to phase out all fossil fuels. The alternative will be terrifying for us all, and global temperature increase will move beyond the 1,5 degree.
  • It is sad that this need is not acknowledged and respected by the global north. Finance and commitments about cooperation are a crucial block in these talks, and we will not have an ambitious outcome of fossil fuels unless we also have an ambitious outcome on finance.

Finally, the fact that the climate crisis is so critical, makes the Global Goal on Adaptation even more important. COP28 should adopt a framework for this goal, to ensure that we have  a blueprintfor adaptation action. It should present global targets for adaptation action, and guide governments, politicians and organizations, when they invest in adaptation, ensuring that their efforts have impact.

Sara Savva Deputy Director GOPA-DERD/ACT Alliance – Member of ACT MENA CJWG comments,

  • Without  a good blueprintfor adaptation, I am afraid the scarce adaptation funds will not have the desired impact. 
  • A blueprint  without targets indicators will be difficult to monitor, and if there are no references to funding, it will be very uncertain if the plans actually will be implemented. 
  • The current text for the Global Goal on Adaptation is far too weak, and it will not become the tool governments, organisations and politicians will need when they plan their adaptation interventions.  

Mattias Söderberg, co-chair of the ACT Alliance Climate Justice Group, comments:

  • As ACT Alliance, we urge all the parties to come to consensus on a final decision at this COP that incorporates strong climate justice, clear indicators on the Global Goal for Adaptation, a full phase out of fossil fuels that includes a just transition, and adequate new and additional climate finance- in the form of grants, not loans- to meet the needs of countries and communities in the global south, who face the brunt of the impacts of climate change already.

Media contact:

Simon Chambers, director of communications, ACT Alliance
WhatsApp: +1-416-324-0972 email: 








COP28 Blog: Accountability is key at negotiations

By National Council of Churches in the Philippines

On average, at least twenty typhoons make landfall in the Philippines every year; five of these are predicted to be destructive. The

Typhoon Goni, Bicol Region, Philippines

devastation caused by these typhoons has unfortunately become a normal occurrence in marginalised Filipino communities. Somewhat ironically, these communities are being praised worldwide for their resilience and optimism in otherwise hopeless scenarios. The experiences of the people of the Philippines are living testimonies that climate change impacts are not just measured by the strength of typhoons, but by their intersectional and lasting effects on vulnerable communities. 

According to the 2021 Global Climate Risk Index, the Philippines is the fourth most vulnerable country to the long-term impacts of climate change. To take this risk seriously, the country must address the losses and damage caused by the climate crisis and execute adaptation and mitigation measures toward a people-centered development, low-carbon future. 

While the Philippines’ contribution to global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions is relatively small compared to those of the G20, studies show that the country’s emissions have increased by 114 percent between 1990 and 2017. This is due both to the Philippine energy and industry sectors which continue to build coal-fired powerplants, and to government projects that allow massive degradation of the country’s natural resources through reclamation, land conversions and mega dam construction. The lives of environmental defenders who struggle to protect all life in land and sea are also at stake; as they are deliberately attacked because of their advocacy. It is high time for the country to take genuine steps towards climate crisis mitigation that puts the welfare of people and biodiversity at its core.  

There is also an important global aspect that we would have hoped was addressed at COP28. The National Council of Churches in the Philippines believes that the climate crisis must be addressed by holding major greenhouse gas contributors accountable for the impacts of climate change that their emissions have caused.  

The Council notes that the climate crisis is “a consequence of the historical impact of the patterns of consumption and industrialisation by what are now the wealthiest so-called ‘developed’ nations in the world.” To demonstrate accountability, they must support those countries most affected by climate change’s adverse impacts through climate finance, technology transfer, and capacity building. They should also comply with the global commitments to keep their own carbon footprint in check. 

COP28 has been the ideal occasion in which to demonstrate this accountability.  Decisions at COP28 must include doubling adaptation finance and operationalising the loss and damage fund.  All interventions should uphold and respect human rights. Vulnerable communities must be first in line to access funds that will help them adapt and rebuild sustainably. Wealthy countries can, and must, demonstrate their accountability through just financing of these funds, and by reducing their own emissions exponentially. 

The National Council of Churches in the Philippines is a member of ACT Alliance.

COP28 Blog:  #AnticipatoryAction for the climate crisis

By Diakonie Katastrophenhilfe (DKH)

Reduced impact of hazards when applying anticipatory action. Graphic: Centre for Humanitarian Data.

 Loss and damage can be understood as the negative impact of climate change that occurs despite, or in the absence of, climate change mitigation and adaptation measures. Limits to adaptation are the point at which adaptive responses cease to provide protection against climate impacts. When an adaptation limit is reached, loss and damage will escalate as adaptation is no longer able to reduce negative impacts. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has also warned that even if effective actions to limit global temperature increase to 1.5°C were put in place, loss and damage stemming from climate change are not preventable, as there is a “locked-in” level of warming that already leads to unavoidable consequences. 

United Nations Early Warning for All initiative

Climate, weather and water-related extremes have led to 15 times more deadly hazards for people in Africa, South Asia, South and Central America, and small island states. Over the last 50 years, nearly 70 percent of all deaths from climate-related disasters have occurred in the 46 poorest countries. This initiative aims to enhance collaboration and accelerated action to address gaps and deliver people-centered, end-to-end multi-hazard early warning systems that leave no one behind. 

Getting Ahead of Disasters Charter: One of the biggest obstacles preventing the conversion of early warnings into effective early and anticipatory action is the lack of pre-arranged financial resources. Over 98% of crisis financing is still arranged after disasters strike – despite reliable science to predict them. Evidence from the field suggests that twice as many vulnerable persons can be served at the same cost by deploying resources pre-disaster.  

Diakonie Katastrophenhilfe’s work on locally led anticipatory action 

Diakonie Katastrophenhilfe has a focus throughout our programming on humanitarian disaster risk reduction and tackling the climate crisis. One key approach we have developed is Locally led Anticipatory Action – applied to localize and scale up early warning and early action. We have developed a Guide & Toolkit on this topic in collaboration with our local partners and the Global Network of civil society actors for Disaster Reduction (GNDR).  

We are also supporting our local partners, especially those from the Global South, to establish working groups on locally led anticipatory action, with the Anticipation Hub and ACT Alliance, to influence policies and shape fully and predictably financed, scaled-up early action. 

A call for collective action 

Diakonie Katastrophenhilfe joins our sister organization Brot für die Welt in calling to increase the contribution for start-up financing to the #LossAndDamage fund to one billion euros. We also join Climate Alliance Germany and VENRO in the call for the German Government to advocate for a robust and measurable global adaptation target and to implement the Principles for Locally led Adaptation. We also endorse the ICVA, Joint call on Loss and Damage Fund to empower communities with skills and resources to prepare, respond and recover from climate impacts, including through timely, flexible, predictable, multi-year funding support for both rapid-onset and slow-onset impacts. 

Diakonie Katastrophenhilfe encourages our local partners and other allies to join us in addressing climate change loss and damage by endorsing, making commitments, and promoting the following charter and calls to action. 

Diakonie Katastrophenhilfe is a partner of both the Risk-informed early action Partnership (REAP) and the Anticipation Hub, and a member of GNDR and ACT Alliance.