Africa: COP28 Presidency Hosts Breakthrough Meeting That Agrees Recommendations on Operationalization of Loss and Damage Fund

COP28 President Dr. Sultan Al Jaber heralded the successful conclusion of a vital United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) meeting on the implementation of the Loss and Damage Fund, held in Abu Dhabi, as a vital step towards a successful outcome on the road to COP28.

Once up and running the fund would provide particularly vulnerable countries, many at extreme risk from climate change, with funding to support recovery from the impacts of climate change.

Dr. Al Jaber said: “As we have shown in Abu Dhabi, Multilateralism works. The Transitional Committee has broken deadlocks and found common ground to deliver clear recommendations- Parties must seal the deal in Dubai and fulfill our obligations on the Loss and Damage Fund.”

The recommendation, if adopted by consensus at COP28 has the potential to impact “billions of people, lives and livelihoods who are vulnerable to the effects of climate change.” They, Dr. Al Jaber said, “ depend upon the adoption of this recommended approach at COP28. ”

The Fifth Meeting of the Transitional Committee on Loss and Damage, held on 3 and 4 November in Abu Dhabi, has produced recommendations including the provision of much-needed, grant-based support to countries particularly impacted by climate and loss.  At COP28 Parties will now be responsible for operationalizing the fund.

“I welcome the agreement reached in Abu Dhabi by the Transitional Committee,” Dr. Al Jaber said in a statement. “This clear and strong recommendation to operationalize the Loss and Damage Fund and funding arrangements, paves the way for agreement at COP28.”

The agreement to establish a Loss and Damage fund was heralded as a key breakthrough at COP27 held in Sharm El Sheikh.

“There is still more work to do but I would like to thank the Transitional Committee, including co-chairs Outi Honkatukia of Finland and Richard Sherman of South Africa, for all their long days in getting to this stage. We have sent a clear message, unity won the day,” said Dr. Al Jaber.

The COP28 Presidency hosted the meeting after the previous session ended without conclusion. The Transitional Committee was established after COP27 to make recommendations for consideration and adoption at COP28, which is starting in 25 days, in Dubai. The UNFCCC managed the Committee meeting.

The agreed recommendations will now be socialized with national governments ahead of COP28, so the fund can be activated and capitalized.

The COP28 Presidency has repeatedly advocated for the operationalization of the fund and funding arrangements, with Dr. Al Jaber stating at last month’s Pre-COP event that Parties “must deliver” on the fund. Progress in loss and damage represents “taking action for the world’s most climate vulnerable people,” he told delegates during the event.

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