GNDR open letter to UNFCCC
Communities on the frontline of the climate crisis and civil society organisations are perennially underrepresented at UN Climate Change (UNFCCC) COPs due to ever-escalating costs of accommodation and other expenses. GNDR has written the following open letter to Simon Stiell, the Executive Secretary of UNFCCC calling for an affordable and inclusive COP28:
Dear Mr. Simon Stiell,
RE: Organisation of the Conferences of Parties on Climate Change
I am writing to you on behalf of the Global Network of Civil Society Organisations for Disaster Reduction (GNDR), an accredited observer organisation to UNFCCC. GNDR is the largest global network of civil society organisations working on risk reduction, with 1,468 member organisations across 127 countries.
On behalf of our 1,468 civil society members, we write with great concern for the ever increasing cost of attending the COP meetings. Our members have been shocked and appalled at the cost of attending the COP26 and COP27 conferences. This is becoming unobtainable for civil society organisations and significantly contributing to the exclusion of civil society organisations and those on the frontline of climate change from being able to actively participate in climate change decision making spaces. Civil society has a right to be meaningfully included; however they are being silenced by the cost of attending the negotiations.
GNDR strongly advocates for the importance of taking an all of society approach in decision making and for the unique role civil society organisations make in connecting global decision makers to local realities. However, the price of attending the COP negotiations is contributing to the shrinking political space for civil society organisations and those on the frontline of risk from being meaningfully included in the climate negotiations. We urge you to act on this and work closely with host governments to cap the ever escalating costs of accommodation and other expenses to attend the COP meetings.
As planning for COP28 is underway, we ask you to commit to hold the host government to account for an affordable and inclusive conference. Without this, you will continue to contribute to the exclusion of civil society organisations and those on the frontline of the climate crisis.
We look forward to your response.
Marcos Concepcion Raba, Executive Director, GNDR
On behalf of the GNDR Network