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COP-28 Summit: On Climate Change & Health

Zopper Team Industry Talk December 4th, 2023
COP-28 Summit: On Climate Change & Health

World over, climate change is the emerging buzzword. Aspiring to build a green world is not enough unless it is bolstered by prompt dialogue and action between stakeholders. For the first time in 28 years of climate change negotiations across the world, around 123 governments came together and endorsed the COP-28 Declaration on Climate and Health. India has steered clear of signing the COP-28 declaration. News reports indicate that curbing greenhouse gas use for cooling in the health sector was considered as not being practical in the current healthcare scenario prevailing in the country.

Emerging Trends in Climate and Health: Reasons to Prioritise Insurance

As we all know, the linkage between climate and health is a well-established one. However, Dec 2, 2023 marked the first time when it was officially observed as a Health Day at COP-28. 

Still, across global sectors, the ‘Go Green’ emphasis is back. Emerging trends indicate that insurance should be a safety net for Indian households amidst dynamic trends in current climate change negotiations and how it impacts the healthcare sector.

For instance, the automotive industry in the UK and the European Union make it mandatory for any new cars and vans sold in their region to be zero-emission vehicles. 

Responding to this cue, auto manufacturers are stepping up with a product pipeline showcasing electric vehicles and upping investments in climate tech startups. 

Climate Funding On Track: What About Insurance?

Interestingly, on December 2,2023, the Green Climate Fund, the Asian Development Bank and Rockefeller Foundation, who are titans in the global sustainability ecosystem, pledged S1 billion as a finance pledge for climate and health. This notable move can be seen as highlighting the increasing importance for funding for climate and health, particularly with regard to distribution and impact of philanthropic initiatives that doesn’t add to the overall debt burden of developing countries. 

Separately, the World Bank is looking to work with a cluster of 15 finance stalwarts to lower the risk of climate projects spanning emerging economies. From July 2024 to June 2025, the World Bank has committed 45 percent of its annual financing to climate-related projects. Hence, the World Bank is infusing more than $40 billion per year, which is $9 billion more than its original target.

Insurance, in comparison, requires more public awareness and distribution, particularly in the Indian context.

Reality Check: Why COP-28 Summit Put the Spotlight on Health

Health crises are increasingly being triggered by warming climate, which is further expected to extract a financial toll of around $2-4 billion annually by the year 2030. People are highly conscious of how medical costs can hit them financially. In India, this has also paved the way for the rise of InsurTechs.

Meanwhile, ‘SHE Changes Climate’ has released its report titled ‘Unite for Climate Solutions’ on COP-28 Summit, several concerns have been raised with regard to how it impacts women and children. Notably, the organisation has been a strong proponent of enabling at least 50% inclusion of women as decision makers from local, national and global levels.

Few key takeaways from their report on COP-28 Summit:

  • Approximately 80% of those displaced by climate change are women, which is why it is important to promote inclusion and gender diversity in climate negotiations.

  • Inclusivity is paramount in these partnerships, recognising the right of individuals to lead dignified lives and the imperative to safeguard the planet. 

  • Balanced perspectives are required. 

  • Policies, partnerships and growth need to take into account the diversity of experiences that are impacted throughout a just transition.

  • To ensure that just decisions are made, women's voices and the voices of those most impacted by climate change need to be at the centre. 

COP-28 Summit: Gaps and Concerns

The COP-28 UAE Declaration on Climate and Health had its share of gaps and concerns. A key issue has been that it does not mention fossil fuels such as coal, oil and natural gas as clusters that drive health threats. Globally, fossil fuels are viewed as the largest contributor to climate change. Phasing out fossil fuels is considered integral to eventually neutralise dependence. 

Why Insurance Matters Even More

The COP-28 Declaration sends out an important message on how climate change impacts public health and well-being. While a holistic approach is being chalked out, the stakes are really high for households to step up on their health quotient and financial well-being.  As countries look towards stepping up their climate commitments, it is essential to review and revive one’s own financial outlook on comprehensive health insurance. Having an employer’s coverage is not enough as we recognise today how health insurance can be an invaluable component to one’s emotional stability and financial well-being.

For easy-to-activate InsurTech solutions, reach out to Zopper and check our ‘Solutions’ page to have clarity on why your journey towards buying insurance can be a super easy one. 

Don’t forget to book a demo with Zopper!

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