Nations Launch Historic Loss and Damage Fund at COP28

Published Nov 30, 2023

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At the opening plenary of the annual U.N. climate talks (COP28) in Dubai, nations adopted an agreement to operationalize the Loss and Damage Fund established last year at COP27 in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt. The agreement comes after consensus recommendations were put forward by the U.N. Transitional Committee on Loss and Damage after a contentious meeting earlier this month.

Below is a statement by Dr. Rachel Cleetus, the policy director and a lead economist for the Climate and Energy Program at the Union of Concerned Scientists.

“Launching the Loss and Damage Fund on the opening day of COP28 is a significant step forward in the fight for climate justice. Low- and middle-income nations are suffering from billions of dollars of damage and an immense human toll from increasingly severe climate impacts. There’s simply no time to wait. With the fund up and running, richer nations must now ensure that it’s well-resourced to meet the needs of those on the frontlines of the climate crisis. The initial monetary pledges announced today are a small but inadequate start. Wealthy nations, including the United States, must live up to their responsibility to provide significant contributions to the fund in the years ahead.

“Nations must now move expeditiously to tackling other pressing issues on the agenda at COP28. That includes securing an agreement on a fast, fair fossil fuel phaseout to address the root cause of climate change and Loss and Damage. Addressing Loss and Damage in a more comprehensive way must also be a key part of the Global Stocktake and climate finance negotiations over the next two weeks.”