COP28 reach agreement on 'loss and damage' fund on first day
Countries have reached a landmark agreement to operationalise a loss and damage fund to help vulnerable nations deal with climate change on the first day of the COP28 climate conference in Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE).
Climate financing is a key issue at this year's summit and the deal was celebrated as an early victory, particularly by developing countries that have been campaigning for a fund for decades.
These countries are often those that contributed the least to climate change historically but are feeling the consequences most acutely.
The historic Loss and Damage fund was initially established at last year’s COP27 conference in Egypt’s Sharm el Sheikh after much contentious debate. But key questions regarding the fund - including who would be required to contribute to it - were left unanswered.
Host UAE immediately pledged $100 million to the fund, as did Germany. The UK has pledged $75 million, while the US, the world’s richest country and its biggest polluter, will contribute just $17.5 million.
Just hours after the deal was reached, COP28 President Sultan Al Jaber announced at a press conference that $420 million had already been pledged to the Loss and Damage fund, with a commitment to ensure at least $100 billion a year by 2030. The fund will be managed and distributed by the World Bank.
Climate experts and activists have reacted to the agreement with sceptical optimism, noting that this is a breakthrough but that current pledges fall far short of what is needed.
A report from the UN Environmental Programme published earlier this month that the amount needed to help developing nations adapt to climate change is $387 billion per year.
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