The Loss and Damage Fund aimed to address climate impacts was on Thursday 30 November 2023 operationalized at the opening plenary of28th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change COP28 taking place in Dubai.
With new pledges announced by the COP28 host, the UAE (USD 100 million), Germany (USD 100 million), UK (GBP 60 million/USD 75 million), Japan (USD 10 million) and the USA (USD 17.5 million).
The success of COP28 will ultimately be judged on addressing root cause of the climate crisis – fossil fuels.
Harjeet Singh, Head of Global Political Strategy, Climate Action Network International said:”In a commendable move, the host of the COP28 climate conference pledged USD 100 million to the Loss and Damage Fund, followed by several affluent nations announcing their financial support. While these funds are valuable in initiating the Fund’s activities, it is important to recognise that the costs of rebuilding from the devastating effects of climate disasters run into hundreds of billions of dollars annually. Rich countries, given their significantly higher historical responsibility, must do more on a scale commensurate with their impact on planet-heating emissions.”
Tasneem Essop, Executive Director, Climate Action Network, said:“A key issue to be addressed head on at this COP is that it delivers an outcome that deals with the need to justly and equitably phase out fossil fuels. We have had a record breaking year of global climate impacts and a number of alarming reports telling us that we are going in the wrong direction. We come into the COP understanding what the challenges are and what we need so the ambition levels must increase five fold to put us back on track to address the climate crisis.”
Teresa Anderson, Global Lead on Climate Justice, ActionAid International, commented that COP needs to reach for the stars and call for a full phase out of fossil fuels that is fair and funded with particular attention paid to agriculture.
She said: “We need real commitments to move away from industrialised agriculture which is the second largest cause of greenhouse gas emissions. The fossil fuel and fertiliser industries are working hand in hand and the world food systems have become complicit in their own destruction. The COP28 food systems initiative will only be useful if it leads to real commitments to move away from industrialised agriculture and to scale up the adoption of real solutions.”
Romain Ioualalen, Global Policy Manager at Oil Change International, said: “This COP must address the root cause of the climate crisis: fossil fuels. Countries must come to an agreement to immediately end fossil fuel expansion and build a just and equitable phase out of all fossil fuels, enabled by rich countries redirecting trillions in fossil industry handouts to triple renewable energy and double energy efficiency. We have had enough delays – and this must happen now to secure a livable future.”
Rachel Cleetus, policy director and lead economist for the Climate and Energy Program at the Union of Concerned Scientists, highlighted that we are in the midst of a climate crisis falling disproportionately on marginalised and disadvantaged people.
She said: “The consensus recommendations for operationalizing the Loss and Damage Fund are far from perfect yet are an important step forward and should be quickly adopted at COP28. Richer nations–including the United States–must also live up to their responsibility and provide robust resources for the Fund. The needs are immense and crushing for low- and middle-income nations already reeling from billions of dollars of damages and an immense human toll from extreme climate impacts. Moving this agreement forward expeditiously will also create the space for addressing other pressing issues, including the phase out of fossil fuels which are the root cause of climate change and loss and damage.