Transitional Committee Struggles to Establish Loss and Damage Fund

The Loss and Damage Fund (L&D), a fund that is meant to support all communities and vulnerable people, has once again proven to be a significant challenge for the Transitional Committee (TC) to achieve.

Despite being their expected last meeting, the Transitional Committee opted to schedule another meeting due to wide fundamental differences. The TC4 meeting, held in Aswan, Egypt, failed to produce any recommendations for the operationalization of the fund.

As the world approaches the 1.5-degree threshold, recent events such as floods in Libya and an earthquake in Morocco highlight the urgent need for the Loss and Damage Fund to proactively respond and save lives.

Creating a Loss and Damage Fund that is fit for purpose is crucial in achieving climate justice, as emphasized by the call to “Leave No One Behind.” The Netherlands’ suggestion to exclude Civil Society in the next TC5 meeting was refuted by Colombia’s Angela Rivera, who emphasized the essential role of Civil Society in the fund, as it is meant to benefit all communities and vulnerable people.

Considering the magnitude and frequency of unprecedented events, it is only fair that the fund ensures wider inclusion and a balance that promotes equity between developed and developing countries. COP28 President Dr. Sultan bin Al Jaber emphasized that the only expectation from the Transitional Committee is the delivery of the Loss and Damage Fund.

However, eligibility for the fund has sparked contentious discussions on inclusion, as setting rules may exclude nations like Pakistan that are not classified as Least Developed Countries (LDCs) or Small Island Developing States (SIDS). This issue was brought up by Ali Waqas Malik, who reminded the TC of the devastating 2022 floods in Pakistan, which resulted in over 1,700 casualties and impacted up to 33 million people.

Transitional Committee
The Transitional Committee during its fourth meeting in Aswan Egypt

Another point of contention is the financing of the L&D fund. There is debate on whether it should be an Operating Entity (OE) that acknowledges the historical responsibility of developed countries to contribute, as they are the greatest emitters. The suggestion of having the World Bank host the fund was met with disagreement, as the institution is seen to heavily prioritize loans and debts, and developed countries are believed to have too much control over their decision-making.

As the Transitional Committee prepares for its fifth meeting (TC5) in Abu Dhabi on November 3rd and 5th, hosted by Hana Alhashimi, the UAE Chief Climate Negotiator for COP27 and COP28, a reevaluation of the current situation is urged.

The inability of the Transitional Committee to fulfill its mandate thus far highlights the need for renewed efforts and collaboration to address the challenges surrounding the Loss and Damage Fund.

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