COP28: Loss and Damage Fund pledges described as ‘vital first step’

A key deal to help the world’s poorest and most vulnerable countries pay for the impact of climate change, agreed on the first day of the COP28 summit, has been heralded as a ‘vital first step’.

Both host country UAE and Germany pledged £79 million to the fund, which aims to keep up with the rising costs caused by extreme weather and slow-onset disasters like sea level rise, ocean and melting glaciers.

The UK also committed £60 million, while Japan committed £7.9 million and the US committed £13.8 million.

The COP 28 president Dr Sultan Al Jaber described it as a win and praised “the speed at which the world came together to get this fund operationalized within one year since Parties agreed to it in Sharm El Sheik”.

It comes amid widespread criticism of Al Jaber’s role as head of Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC).

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“For too long, communities least responsible for causing the climate crisis have borne the brunt of climate impacts. This agreement is a vital first step towards ensuring communities get the support they need – but stops short of the fund communities deserve,” said Greenpeace International global political expert Tracy Carty.

“What’s unclear is where the money is going to come from. When it comes to financing the Loss and Damage Fund, the outcome of this COP must confirm that rich countries with the greatest contribution to climate change will lead the way,” she continued.

“And that the fossil fuel industry, which continues to reap billions by exploiting fossil fuels, pays for the harm they have caused.”

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