DUBAI (November 30, 2023) - During the opening plenary on the first day of the COP28 climate talks, negotiators agreed to set the loss and damage fund in motion. The decision adopts recommendations from the Loss and Damage Transitional Committee which assembled earlier this month for a fifth time after failing to reach consensus at earlier sessions.

Following is a statement from Ani Dasgupta, President & CEO, World Resources Institute:

“Right at the start of the UN climate talks, developing and developed nations joined hands to set the loss and damage fund in motion. 

“The loss and damage fund will be a lifeline to people in their darkest hour, enabling families to rebuild their homes after disaster strikes, support farmers when their crops are wiped out and relocate those that become permanently displaced by rising seas. 

“This outcome was hard-fought but is a clear step forward. 

“The success of this fund will depend on the speed and scale at which funds start flowing to people in need. People in vulnerable countries will face up to $580 billion in climate-related damages in 2030 and this number will only continue to grow.

“To that end, it is very encouraging that a number of countries stepped forward today with pledges to get the loss and damage fund off the ground. These pledges represent a dramatic turn of events compared to just two years ago when it wasn’t certain if developed countries could ever be convinced to back a loss and damage fund.

“While inadequate to the scale of what is needed, these early contributions will play a critical role in restoring trust between developed and developing countries as the UN climate talks get underway. This progress on loss and damage today is one of many puzzles pieces that need to fall into place for the climate summit to be a success. 

“It is particularly notable that the United Arab Emirates matched Germany with a pledge of $100 million each. UAE’s contribution broadens the nations providing climate finance. 

“While the overall signal from today’s pledges is positive, it is disappointing that the United States and the Japan chipped in so little. Given the size of their economies, there is simply no excuse for their contributions to be far eclipsed by others.

“The funding announced at COP28 will be just a down payment to the far greater resources to help people reeling from losses and damage from climate change. Over the coming year, countries need to step forward with much larger pledges as well as mobilize innovative sources of funding such as taxes on fossil fuels and shipping.”