COP28 President Dr. Sultan Al Jaber gaveled the first major milestone of COP28 late last week, delivering an agreement to operationalise a fund that will assist developing countries that are particularly vulnerable to the adverse effects of climate change, known in the negotiations as “loss and damage”.
“The hard work of many people over many years has been delivered in Dubai. The speed at which the world came together to get this fund operationalised within one year since Parties agreed to it in Sharm El Sheikh is unprecedented,” Dr Jaber said in a statement.
The Fund was agreed upon during COP27, held in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt, and became operational Friday following the agreement reached by parties during 5 transitional committee meetings.
The 5th transitional meeting hosted earlier this month in Abu Dhabi was added by the COP28 Presidency following the impasse reached at the 4th meeting, where Parties reached a resolution.
That meeting generated recommendations on implementing the Fund, including the provision of essential grant-based support to countries especially impacted by climate and loss. In a comprehensive listening tour, COP28 leadership socialised the recommendations with national governments ahead of COP28, laying the groundwork for the decision to operationalise the fund.
Loss and Damage is essential even if the world meets climate mitigation goals because a “locked-in” level of warming already impacts the particularly vulnerable communities hit by extreme weather events, such as storms and floods, reduced agricultural productivity, and rising sea levels.
This decisive action on Loss and Damage will enable the Parties to focus on the strongest possible response to the Global Stocktake, the world’s report card on progress toward the Paris Agreement goals.
The UAE announced a $100 million commitment to the Fund, which aims to provide financial assistance to countries at extreme risk from climate change, to support climate change mitigation and recovery.
Other countries making notable commitments included Germany, which committed $100m, the UK, which committed £ 40m for the Fund and £20m for other arrangements, Japan, which contributed $10m and the US, which committed $17.5m.
“This Fund will support billions of people, lives and livelihoods that are particularly vulnerable to the effects of climate change, “I want to thank my team for all their hard work to make this possible on day one of COP28. It proves, the world can unite can act, and can deliver,” Dr Al Jaber said.