COP28 registers early win with climate disaster fund

On the UN climate summit’s first day a major deal was struck to help the poorest nations recover from environmental catastrophes. Sadly, though, the agreement was almost oven-ready.

brown wooden boat on brown sand during daytime

COP28 chalked up its first significant victory within hours of opening, with the finalisation of a new fund to support vulnerable nations cover the costs of natural disasters. 

It is hoped that momentum to participate will grow among delegate nations, and already several of the world’s richest countries have pledged sums. COP28 host the UAE committed $100million, Britain $51million, the United States $17.5million, and Japan $10million. The European Union, meanwhile, has proposed $245.39million, with Germany alone willing to offer $100million. 

The fund has been on a list of demands from developing nations for years now, many of which are considered to be bearing the brunt of the climate crisis, despite having contributed the least to the actual problem. It is now hoped the ‘loss and damage fund’, as it has been informally referred to for some time, could be a powerful  bargaining tool in negotiations, impact increasing over time. Meanwhile, the immediate effect will mean faster financial support for countries devastated by flooding, drought and other extreme weather events. 

However, it’s important to view the win in context. The idea of a global insurance policy is nothing new, and it was expected that COP28 would be about the specifics of how this will work, not whether or not such a scheme was needed. Nevertheless, the agreement could have taken much longer to finalise. Experts have now cautiously suggested that the speed of this victory should now mean all efforts can focus on the two biggest talking points at COP28 – a clear and universal plan to end fossil fuel use, and the UN’s ‘global stocktake’, which will outline international progress in line with the 2015 Paris Agreement. 

More on COP28: 

Prototypes for Humanity: Ideas to save the world at COP28

Great expectations: What we want from COP28

Image: YODA Adaman


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