Seth Onyango, bird story agency
After securing the landmark climate damage compensation deal at COP27, Africa's push for the Loss and Damage Fund gets a major shot in the arm at this year's climate summit, after states committed millions to activate it
The Fund, which aims to provide financial assistance to countries at extreme risk from climate change, to support mitigation and recovery, was established after intense negotiations at COP27.
A synchronised diplomatic offensive by African states had resulted in the historic deal to set up a kitty compensating states with historically low carbon emission levels for the impacts of climate change. Those include rising sea levels, droughts, floods, and catastrophic weather events.
After the 2022 climate talks in Sharm el Sheikh in Egypt little progress had been made and the issue looked set to become a backwater in climate talks.
In early remarks at the 2023 event in Dubai, however, COP28 President Dr Sultan Al Jaber announced that the United Arab Emirates was committing US$100 million to the Fund to "capitalise and operationalise it."
That appeared to create a chain reaction, with Germany pledging US$100 million, the UK offering £40 million for the Fund and £20 million for other arrangements, Japan pleding US$10 million and the U.S. committing to US$17.5 million.
“The hard work of many people over many years has been delivered in Dubai” Al Jaber said, adding “the speed at which the world came together, to get this fund operationalized within one year since Parties agreed to it in Sharm El Sheikh is unprecedented."
Compensation of states for loss and damage emerged as a sticking point at COP26 in Glasgow, Scotland, as developing nations and their island counterparts refused to back down in their appeal for cash to help mitigate the effects of climate change.
However strong opposition from rich and heavily polluting economies caused the issue to be pushed back a year, to Sharm El-Sheikh, touted as "Africa's COP".
On the sidelines of COP27, African leaders intimated that they would not relent until a loss and damage deal was on the table and a payment plan featured in the final resolutions of the talks. They achieved both.
The Loss and Damage Fund will be managed by the Green Climate Fund, an entity under the UNFCCC that finances climate projects in developing countries.
The Fund will also have a board that will oversee its governance, allocation, and disbursement of resources.
The establishment of the Fund is regarded as a breakthrough in global climate negotiations as it acknowledges the responsibility of developed countries - responsible for over a century of significant climate emissions - to help developing countries with far lighter carbon footprints cope with the impacts of climate change.
bird story agency