TALKING to people about climate change and raising awareness is key in the campaigning on the climate emergency, heard a meeting in Settle.

David Howlett, who works for the UN Climate Change High Level Champions, spoke to a Green Cafe meeting held by Action on Climate Emergency (ACE). 

He talked about the work of the Champions on connecting the work of governments with climate actions taken by non-state organisations such as communities, businesses, and civil society.

Mr Howlett, who lives in Malham, will be attending the 28th United National Climate Change Conference (COP28) being held in Dubai from November 30 to December 12.

Hosted by the United Arab Emirates (UAE), it will focus on fast-tracking the energy transition and slashing emissions before 2030; transforming climate finance, by delivering on old promises and setting the framework for a new deal on finance; and putting nature, people lives and livelihoods at the heart of climate action.

In a wide ranging talk, Mr Howlett explained the roles of the UN’s Climate Change High-Level Champions - Dr. Mahmoud Mohieldin from Egypt and Her Excellency Ms Razan Al Mubarak from UAE.

They are building on the work of their predecessors, including Nigel Topping from the UK, to work with ‘non state actors’.

Their work he explained “is fundamentally designed to encourage a collaborative shift across all of society towards a decarbonised economy so that we can all thrive in a healthy, resilient and zero carbon world.”

He also emphasised their role in promoting the business case for change and adaptation to meet the climate challenges. Increasingly ‘business-as-usual’ is becoming untenable and consequently unprofitable.

To help them deliver this work, the High-Level Champions are supported by a global team of experts covering a broad range of activities – this is the team in which he works.

He then turned to the Loss and Damage Fund which when countries at COP27 agreed to establish - it was hailed at the time as a political success.

This is being set up to support communities in developing countries that are being affected by climate change but who did not cause it. However, Mr Howlett reminded the meeting that money for the fund is still to be materialised although discussions on finding a consensus on a funding mechanism are continuing with the aim to agree this in Dubai.

He concluded by reinforcing the message about the need for local action.

He said: “ACE’s energy and food groups are good cases in point, expensive energy and poor insulation have a direct cost, as does food waste. "These and issues like them are not ‘climate’ issues, but community issues. Having strategies is ok, like we hear about at COP and from the UN, but it’s important they support local implementation, evaluation and verification that make the real difference.”