Dubai, 1 December 2023 (TDI): On Thursday, the UAE COP28 Presidency reached a historic milestone by securing an agreement to activate the long-awaited fund for loss and damage, which will help developing countries cope with the negative impacts of climate change.
The COP28 climate summit witnessed a historic moment on its first day when the UAE secured a deal on a fund for loss and damage, which will support the poorest nations in the world facing the harmful effects of climate change.
The agreement received a standing ovation from delegates around the world, and after the approval of the fund, members made pledges to contribute to it.
The UAE led the way by announcing a $100 million contribution to the fund, which encouraged other nations to make pledges to the vital fund as well.
Some of the countries that promised to support the fund were Germany, with $100 million; Britain, with up to 60 million pounds ($75.89 million); the US, with $17.5 million; Japan, with $10 million; and the EU (including Germany), with at least EUR 225 million ($245.6 million).
The fund was set up at COP27 in Egypt and became active on Thursday, November 30, after five meetings of the transitional committee.
The COP28 Presidency held the fifth meeting in Abu Dhabi to resolve the impasse that occurred at the fourth meeting, where parties reached an agreement.
The UAE’s Foreign Affairs Minister, Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, declared the UAE’s donation to the fund. He said, ‘We are proud to be part of this historic fund for responding to climate impacts and we pledge $100 million as our share.
We urge all countries that can afford it to donate generously, as a sign of our solidarity.’”
COP28 President Dr Sultan Al Jaber said that the COP28 Presidency is dedicated to achieving results for those who are vulnerable to climate change.
He also said: ‘We have fulfilled what we promised in Sharm El Sheikh in Dubai. It is remarkable how fast the world united to make this fund operational in one year since Parties agreed to it in Sharm El Sheikh.’
Accomplished the target two-fold:
It was a big victory for the developing countries today. Dr Al Jaber said that the fund needed $200 million to start and work.
‘But we got more than $420 million in the first half. And I am sure that many more leaders and governments will make more pledges and commitments in the next few days,’ he said.
After the UAE announced its $100 million donation, Germany’s Economic Cooperation and Development Minister Svenja Schulze said:
‘This is a historic decision of solidarity for those who are most vulnerable. Your decision makes it possible for the new funding arrangements, including a fund, to start and work quickly and effectively. Now, we need to act on our words.’
She also said: ‘On behalf of German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, Germany is ready to start the new fund with $100 million, like the UAE. Let’s show the same ambition on reducing and adapting to climate change.’”
EU, including Germany, has promised at least EUR 225 million.
The EU and some of its member states are making promises to the fund and the funding arrangements at this COP to speed up the political movement during the high-level segment.
These promises will help a lot to start and run the fund and we hope it will build trust and confidence,” said the delegate from the European Union.
The UK promised up to 60 million pounds, including 40 million for new funds and another 20 million pounds for funding arrangements (including systems to warn early and finance for disaster risk).
The delegate from the UK said: ‘This is a historic moment and one that took a long time to happen.
The UK was proud to do our part in the transitional committee. We need to use this momentum for the rest of the COP28 as we aim for a high outcome that keeps 1.5 possible and helps the most vulnerable.
Meanwhile, the United States Special Envoy for Climate, John Kerry, said: ‘We are ready to work with our Congress to give $17.5 million especially for the fund for climate impacts response that will assist vulnerable countries to deal with the Impact.
We also hope the fund will start and work quickly; we hope it will help solve priority problems in the current support situation.’https://twitter.com/COP28_UAE/status/1730260594916237824?t=rrnm4DaBoaCfXC33jHLxjA&s=19
Japan promised $10 million, and a delegate said: ‘We want the fund to start and work as soon as possible so we can help developing countries that are very vulnerable to the bad effects of climate change.’
The Japanese envoy also said, ‘This fund is about global unity and should be supported by different funding sources, including from countries that can afford it.’
The start of COP28 showed clear and new momentum, according to the presidency. ‘This momentum gives us a clear vision of hope and what we can do together when we aim for the highest ambition,’ said a statement from the COP28 Presidency.”