Loss and Damage Fund a Big Win in COP28

The operationalization of the Loss and Damage Fund stands as a monumental triumph for vulnerable communities on a global scale. Over the past year, discussions surrounding this fund were marked by contention, to make it operational appear distant. However, a turning point emerged during the Transitional Committee’s fourth and fifth meetings, hinting at progress and igniting hope towards the climate summit.

COP28 marked the realization of a long-cherished dream as the Loss and Damage Fund was officially brought into operation during the opening plenary. Pledges from influential nations, including the UAE (USD 100 million), Germany (USD 100 million), the UK (GBP 60 million/USD 75 million), Japan (USD 10 million), and the USA (USD 17.5 million), underscored a collective commitment to establishing and sustaining this crucial fund.

This achievement resonates deeply, considering the deliberations that took place at COP27 in 2022 in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt. What initially seemed like a formidable task to operationalize the Loss and Damage Fund transformed into a swift and commendable accomplishment within a year. Consequently, vulnerable communities are now poised to enhance their resilience against unprecedented adversities.

Loss and Damage Fund

The success of the climate conference, as asserted by the Climate Action Network (CAN), hinges on several critical factors, including a plan for an equitable phase-out of fossil fuels, adequate finance for a just transition, and the effective functioning of the Loss and Damage Fund

Harjeet Singh, Head of Global Political Strategy at Climate Action Network International, praised the COP28 host for pledging USD 100 million to the Loss and Damage Fund. While acknowledging the financial support from affluent nations, Singh also called out rich countries for their hesitance in taking substantial actions. He emphasized that, despite the value of these funds in initiating the Fund’s activities, the costs of rebuilding from the devastating effects of climate disasters amount to hundreds of billions of dollars annually.

Yet, the operationalization of the Loss and Damage Fund presents only one facet of the challenges facing the climate summit. Another critical hurdle remains—the imperative to phase out fossil fuel use globally. As the world grapples with the life-threatening impacts of climate change, transitioning from fossil fuel usage to clean energy emerges as the optimal solution.

Tasneem Essop, Executive Director of Climate Action Network, highlighted the urgency of addressing fossil fuel use at COP28. Against a backdrop of record-breaking climate impacts and alarming reports, Essop stressed the need for a fivefold increase in ambition levels to steer humanity back on track to address the climate crisis effectively.

Civil society organizations echo the sentiment that the true significance of COP28 lies in addressing the root cause of the climate crisis—fossil fuels. Against the backdrop of global crises, COP28 is mandated to secure an agreement to immediately cease fossil fuel expansion and facilitate a just and equitable phase-out of all fossil fuels. This involves redirecting trillions in fossil industry subsidies towards tripling renewable energy and doubling energy efficiency.

Teresa Anderson, Global Lead on Climate Justice at ActionAid International, emphasized the need for substantial commitments to the Loss and Damage Fund and to move away from industrialized agriculture, the second-largest contributor to greenhouse gas emissions. The COP28 food systems initiative is deemed valuable only if it leads to tangible commitments to transition from industrialized agriculture and scale up the adoption of genuine solutions.

Leave a reply