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Showcasing Disability Inclusion at the Bonn Climate Conference

Posted on: Thursday, June 15th, 2023

CBM UK is at the forefront of supporting the call for disability inclusion in climate action. Last week we were pleased to attend the Bonn Climate Conference, where we hosted a side event and launched our newest publication “Disability Rights and Climate Change”.  

The Bonn Climate Conference convenes each summer, preparing decisions for adoption at the United Nations’ major annual climate change conference, the Conference of the Parties – otherwise known as COP. CBM UK has attended and co-hosted side events at both COP26 in Glasgow and COP27 in Sharm El Sheik, and we look forward to COP28 later this year in the United Arab Emirates.  

Last week at the Bonn Climate Conference, together with partners from Bangladesh and the African Disability Forum, CBM UK hosted a side event. This provided a great opportunity to launch our newest publication “Disability Rights and Climate Change”. This paper is based on a study carried out in conjunction with a small group of students from the London School of Economics on the impact of the climate crisis on the Convention of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. The climate crisis, as it continues to unfold at an alarming pace, is impacting hundreds of millions of people around the world. This report seeks to amplify the voices of people with disabilities in areas affected by climate emergencies, as well as providing firm recommendations for positive ways to make climate action more disability inclusive. 

“We are not seen when it comes to management of climate crisis including escape and relief efforts, seriously are we that unimportant that our lives are not worth considering?” – Leader of an Organisation of Persons with Disability in Kenya, and contributor to discussion paper  

View a recording of CBM UK’s side event on YouTube here. 

Read the CBM’s new publication, “Disability Rights and Climate Change” here.

Mark Barrell, CBM UK Head of Advocacy and Influencing, represented CBM UK at Bonn. Alongside our friends at the European Disability Forum, Mark met with representatives of different international agencies, government officials and negotiators, as well as the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) secretariat and the COP28 Presidency Team. Many are engaged in the processes and negotiations of how to tackle the climate crisis, but we continue to highlight the need to include people with disabilities across every area. There was a key opportunity to address the COP28 Presidency team on accessibility and inclusion of people with disabilities in Dubai too, ahead of COP28 convening there in December. Mark commented: 

“It was hugely important for us to raise again the need for disability inclusion and to reinforce this in the light of the wider discussions on some key issues in the build-up to COP28.”  

Read more about CBM UK’s response to climate justice here. 

Image: Bonn Panel: Gordon Rattray, Ian Fry, Mark Barrell, Lien VanDamme and Gurpreet Kaur