During the Relief, Recovery and Peace Day of COP28, over $400 million has been
pledged to help those affected by climate disasters.
The final details to begin the start up phase of this fund were discussed at COP28, after several meetings throughout the year. COP28 has seen many governments from around the world pledge their own contributions to the Loss and Damage Fund. Those that have already pledged to support this fund include:
The European Union (EU) – as a whole is expected to contribute over $245 million.
Germany – $100 million
Japan – $10 million
UAE (COP28 Host) – $100 million
United Kingdom – £40 million
United States – $17.5 million
Many have criticised the US and claimed that their contribution is much too low, when compared to the size of the country and as it is one of the world’s richest countries. The Founding Director of the non-governmental organisation, Power Shift Africa, Mohamed Adow has claimed that this contribution from the US is ‘embarrassing’.
With the US’s low contribution aside, Dr. Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber the president and host of COP28 has stated that:
“This [funding] sends a positive signal of momentum to the world and to
our work here in Dubai.”
Avinash Persaud, who is the Special Envoy to the Prime Minister of Barbados Mia Amor Mottley, claims that these figures will ultimately change. He has stated that:
“Because the fund was only approved today [30th November 2023],
we can’t expect [them] to open up new budgets… so this initial money will be
coming from existing budgets.”
In the first four years of the fund, the World Bank, an international financial institution made up of 189 countries, will host the new funding. Currently this funding stands at roughly $725 million, although experts have suggested that developing countries will need around $400 billion in funding for loss and damage each year. If foreign governments do not work together to lower the negative effects of climate change, this figure will continue to rise.
There has been concerns rising from developing countries at COP28 over the involvement of the World Bank. Many developing countries have accused the World Bank in being slow at releasing funds and initiating procedures, whilst also having high costs. Most of their concern lies with the influence that the US has on the decisions that are made by the World Bank.
Due to their concerns a compromise has been reached. In order for the Word Bank to be involved, certain conditions must be adhered to.
In order to determine who will be prioritised when releasing this funding, those who signed the declaration at COP28, alongside the World Bank must agree on a definition on vulnerability, and who classes as being the most vulnerable.
Many countries at COP28 have requested that petrostates, including the UAE, China, Qatar, and Saudi Arabia must pay a share into the new Loss and Damage Fund. Wopke Hoekstra, the European Commissioner for Climate Action is one of the leading voices claiming that the countries supplying the world with fossil fuels should add to the fund. There are other nations that are claiming high emitting countries should also be adding to the Loss and Damage Fund.
Teresa Anderson, ActionAid International’s Global Lead on Climate Justice has stated that: