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Discussion paper launching today at Bonn Climate Conference 

Posted on: Thursday, June 8th, 2023

CBM UK will launch a discussion paper at Bonn Climate Conference later today, 8 June, focussing on how the climate crisis impacts implementation of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. 

Front cover of Climate Change and Disability Rights, image shows woman standing on empty ground, where her house once stood

The new discussion paper focusses on three country case studies from Kenya, Nepal and Bangladesh. The original research which inspired the discussion paper was carried out by master’s students at the London School of Economics. It was an innovative study that investigated what the limited, available data could tell us, and conducted interviews with Organisations of Persons with Disabilities (OPDs) to unpack the experiences beneath the data.

Kirsty Smith, CBM UK CEO says:

“In commissioning the study ‘Climate action and its impact on the implementation of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD)’, we worked with the research students to investigate our hypothesis which was that the costs and damages incurred by climate change, if not met with additional and specific funding, will result in national funds being diverted away from essential government services.”

The discussion paper highlights how existing challenges in participatory budgetary processes can be further exacerbated during times of climate crisis. It also highlights how during times of crisis budgets allocated for disability rights can come under pressure to be reallocated.

The paper provides some practical ways forward which include recommendations for participatory budget processes, the need for better data and improved coordination between government Ministries.

“One of the issues we heard from OPDs was of a disconnect and lack of coordination between different ministries with responsibility for climate and disability. The Ministries leading national climate adaptation and mitigation had limited or no communication with Ministries working on disability rights and similarly ministries working on disability rights and social protection were not coordinating with climate ministries. Having good channels for communication and coordination would seem like an easy first step to take,” Mary Keogh, CBM Global Advocacy Director.

The paper feeds into CBM Global’s growing evidence base on the impact of the climate crisis on people with disabilities, supporting our advocacy work for a disability inclusive approach to climate policy.

Download the report here.