Climate damage fund hailed, but ‘needs billions rather than millions’

At the UN’s COP28 conference on Thursday, the introduction of a climate “loss and damage” fund was greeted with applause and hundreds of millions of dollars in pledges, but there were also cautions that much more is required to assist vulnerable nations.

“We have delivered history today,” the UAE’s COP28 president Sultan Al Jaber told delegates who stood and applauded after the decision’s adoption in Dubai.

Subsequent to the announcement, several financial pledges were made: the European Union contributed 225 million euros ($246 million), the United Arab Emirates contributed $100 million, Germany contributed another $100 million, Britain contributed $40 million, the United States contributed $17.5 million, and Japan contributed $10 million.

Rich countries supported the fund in a historic deal made at the COP27 meeting in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, last year, after years of putting off the matter.

Launched on the first day of COP28, the fund’s workings were the subject of intense talks. It will be temporarily located at the World Bank.

“This sends a positive signal of momentum to the world,” Jaber said.

He said it was “the first time a decision has been adopted on day one of any COP and the speed in which we have done so is also unique, phenomenal and historic.”

“This is evidence that we can deliver. COP28 can and will deliver,” he added.

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