Governments around the world are failing to adopt disability-inclusive climate adaptation and mitigation strategies, even though climate change disproportionately affects persons with disabilities. For example, in climate emergencies persons with disabilities are too often excluded from disaster, health and humanitarian services. Emergency warning systems may be inaccessible, making it difficult for persons with disabilities to plan for extreme weather events. Also, slow-onset climate changes, such as sea-level rise and hotter weather with subsequent water and food scarcity, exacerbate existing barriers for persons with disabilities, while also endangering the general population. Despite these challenges, persons with disabilities are frequently excluded from climate adaptation planning processes, while intersections with socio-economic status, gender, race and ethnicity, and indigeneity are too frequently overlooked. Thus, as the States Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) prepare for the twenty-eighth Conference of Parties (COP28) this fall in Dubai, States and other stakeholders must recognize the disability-inclusive climate action imperative and adopt measures, such as the creation of a constituency for persons with disabilities at the climate negotiations, to ensure that this imperative informs all climate resilience activities.
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