The first day of the COP28 UN climate summit in Dubai witnessed a historic agreement on the long-awaited loss and damage fund dedicated to helping the world’s poorest and most vulnerable countries cope with the impacts of the climate crisis.
"I welcome the decision taken at the opening of #COP28 to operationalize the new Loss & Damage Fund – an essential tool for delivering climate justice."
— United Nations (@UN) November 30, 2023
The term, “loss and damage,” was first used by the UN in 2007 at COP13 in Bali. It has been debated ever since, with delegates at COP welcoming today’s announcement with a standing ovation.
In short, the fund aims to address the escalating financial burdens resulting from extreme weather events and gradual environmental changes like sea level rise, ocean acidification, and melting glaciers. Developing countries are grappling with estimated annual losses exceeding $400 billion, and time is of the essence as the costs are expected to rise in the future.
Loss and damage funding at COP28
At the time of writing, several hours after the loss and damage fund was officially launched at COP28, the funding stands at $300 million. This is thanks to pledges from the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Germany, the UK, the US, and Japan.
The UAE, COP28 host, was the first to pledge, promising 100$ million to the fund as soon as the agreement was announced. Germany, right after the UAE, pledged the same amount while the UK, the US, and Japan pledged £60m, $24.5m, and $10m respectively later in the day.
BREAKING: The UAE is committing $100 million to Loss and Damage, an important milestone in delivering for vulnerable communities and building resilience for people suffering the devastating impacts of climate change.
We encourage leaders to raise ambition and unlock the crucial… pic.twitter.com/1q2jopFuok
— COP28 UAE (@COP28_UAE) November 30, 2023
“Germany and the United Arab Emirates are jointly leading the way. At the same time, we are jointly calling on all countries that are willing and able to make contributions of their own to the new fund responding to loss and damage,” German Development Minister Svenja Schulze said.
Although the loss and damage text was officially adopted on Thursday, the text technically only becomes final once the conference ends, on December 12.
As world leaders take the stage on Friday and Saturday, the onus is now on other affluent nations to announce their contributions to the loss and damage fund.
Editor’s Note: The opinions expressed here by the authors are their own, not those of Impakter.com — In the Featured Photo: Pre-COP: Ministerial Family Photo. Featured Photo Credit: COP28 UAE.