Loss & Damage Board holds historic meeting, elects Co-Chairs


The Board of the fund for responding to loss and damage wrapped up its historic first meeting in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, last week.

The meeting marks a significant step forward for the fund, which was operationalized at the COP28 UN Climate Change Conference last December – driven by the work of the secretariat-supported Transitional Committee earlier in 2023. Prior to the opening of the meeting, Dr. Sultan Al Jaber, COP28 President and UAE’s Special Envoy for Climate Change, addressed the nominated members of the Board.

“We must make this fund robust, we must make this fund efficient, and we must scale up this fund in order for it to deliver against its mandate,” he said. “And as you finalize the funding arrangements, structure and governance, let’s always remind ourselves what the mandate was for establishing this fund. It should help real people in vulnerable communities to recover from climate impacts. It should build back those communities better, stronger and with more resilience. And it should improve lives and livelihoods for the long term.”

During its three-day meeting, the Board took several important decisions that will lay the foundation for its work in 2024, including electing Jean-Christophe Donnellier of France and Richard Sherman of South Africa as Co-Chairs. The Board started a process to select its Executive Director and launched work on access modalities, financial instruments, modalities and facilities, arrangements for establishing and operationalizing the annual high-level dialogue, and ensuring active participation of observers in the Board meetings and related proceedings.

The meeting provided the first opportunity for the newly constituted Board to engage with the World Bank on establishing the fund as a World-Bank-hosted financial intermediary fund (FIF). The Board and the World Bank exchanged their views on the conditions for establishing a FIF, including ensuring that the most vulnerable people on the frontlines of climate impacts are able to access support from the fund, including through direct access to fund resources.

“The establishment of the fund . . . marked a fundamental step in showcasing the joint commitment by all Parties to address the enormous challenge of responding to loss and damage,” said Daniele Violetti, Senior Director of Programmes Coordination at UN Climate Change. “It is now time to fill this Fund with life to ensure that it can fulfil its objective and purpose as quickly as possible as time is indeed of the essence.”