COP28 President addresses historic first Board meeting for the Loss and Damage Fund, urging Parties to build on progress with a fully functioning fund that delivers lasting, positive, socio-economic impact

ABU DHABI, UAE, April 30, 2024 /PRNewswire/ — COP28 President Dr. Sultan Al Jaber today addressed the ‘First Meeting of the Board of the Fund for responding to loss and damage’ and urged Parties to “build on progress” and deliver “lasting, positive, socio-economic impact” to help the most vulnerable to climate change.

During his address, Dr. Al Jaber said that while delivering an agreement to operationalize the Fund at COP28 was a “huge breakthrough for climate progress” more needs to be done.

The COP28 President said: “Let’s make sure we build on that progress with a fully functioning fund. A Fund that is endorsed at COP29 in Baku, a Fund that is disbursing funds soon after and a Fund that delivers lasting, positive, socio-economic impact for decades to come.”

Loss and damage was first put on the COP agenda in 1991 and that “while it took over three decades to establish this Fund, climate change has not stood still. Every region of the world is now vulnerable…the impacts of climate change are a clear and present danger to lives and livelihoods everywhere.”

H.E Abdulla Balalaa, the Assistant Minister of Foreign Affairs for Energy and Sustainability and the UAE representative on the Board, said: “Parties made history on the first day of COP28 by operationalizing the funding arrangements and Fund for loss and damage after 30 years. This outcome reflected global solidarity among all Parties to support developing countries that are particularly vulnerable. The Board plays an important role in delivering on this mandate in an ambitious manner. We must leave this first meeting with strong foundations and an outcome we can all be proud of.”

The agreement to operationalize and capitalize the Fund, which will assist developing countries who are particularly vulnerable to the adverse effects of climate change, was passed on the first day of COP28 – the first time such a substantive decision had been made on the first day of a COP.

A total of US$792 million has been pledged for loss and damage funding arrangements – of which US$662 million has been pledged to the Fund to date – including US$100 million from the UAE.

“That was a good start. It is not enough,” Dr. Al Jaber said. “I call on all Parties who can to come forward with concrete commitments. Let’s make this Fund robust, Let’s make this Fund efficient.”

The Fund “should help real people in vulnerable communities to recover from climate impacts,” he stated. “It should build back those communities better, stronger and with more resilience. And it should improve lives and livelihoods for the long term.”

“Along with the UAE Consensus, the decision on loss and damage was a huge breakthrough for climate progress,” Dr. Al Jaber declared and “set a new pace in climate action” with support for loss and damage having been on the COP agenda since 1991.

Last year’s decision to implement the Fund followed a series of transitional committee meetings in the run up to COP28, including Transitional Committee Five, which was hosted in Abu Dhabi after preceding meetings had reached an impasse.

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