COP28: Countries reach "historic" agreement on loss-and-damage fund
COP28 delegates agreed on Thursday to set up a loss-and-damage fund to help poor countries pay for losses and damage caused by man-made climate change. The landmark agreement came on the opening day of the UN climate summit in Dubai and was greeted with a standing ovation.
Under the agreed text, the fund will be hosted by the World Bank for the first four years, a move originally opposed by developing countries. Wealthy countries, meanwhile, refused to commit, so the fund will rely on voluntary contributions.
The fund is expected to be fully operational from 2024. The United Arab Emirates and Germany have already pledged $100 million each. The UK will contribute £60 million (over €69 million), while the US has pledged $24.5 million. Other countries have yet to announce their contributions.
"We have made history today"
"I congratulate the parties for this historic decision," said COP28 President Sultan al-Jaber. "We have made history today. The speed with which we did it is unprecedented, phenomenal and historic."
Developing countries are calling for a total budget of $100 billion. A report by the NGO Unitarian Universalist Service Committee (UUSC) estimates the loss and damage in these countries at more than $400 billion per year, with costs set to rise in the future.
© Giuseppe CACACE / AFP