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COP28 opens in Dubai unveiling landmark loss and damage fund in global climate battle

COP28 opens in Dubai unveiling landmark loss and damage fund in global climate battle

The 28th session of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP28) commenced on Thursday in Expo City Dubai, marking a significant milestone in the global crusade against climate change.

The year 2023 has been reported by the UN weather agency as the hottest on record, further emphasising the urgency of addressing climate concerns.

A pivotal focus of the COP28 launch was the introduction of the Loss and Damage Fund, a long-awaited initiative championed by developing nations struggling with the mounting costs of climate-related catastrophes.

The operationalisation of this fund signifies a monumental step toward climate justice, providing crucial assistance to those most affected by the impacts of climate change.

In a groundbreaking development within the first hour of the conference, pledges surpassing US$420 million poured in, showcasing an unparalleled commitment to support vulnerable countries confronting the harsh realities of climate change.

Key contributions included $100 million each from the UAE and Germany, $17.5 million from the United States, $10 million from Japan, and $75 million from the United Kingdom.

President Sultan al-Jaber of COP28 set a resolute tone, urging nations and fossil fuel entities to unite in pursuit of global climate objectives. A notable achievement unfolded as delegates unanimously adopted the new fund, addressing the urgent needs of nations contending with climate-induced disasters.

Simon Stiell, UN Climate Change Executive Secretary, stressed the imperative for bold and immediate action, cautioning against incremental measures in the face of a severe planetary climate crisis. Stiell emphasized the necessity for ambitious Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) aligned with the 1.5-degree Celsius target outlined in the Paris Agreement.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres lauded the decision, stating, “The progress made today on loss and damage provides significant momentum for this UN climate conference. It is imperative that all governments and negotiators capitalize on this momentum to deliver ambitious outcomes here in Dubai.”

Under the leadership of COP28 President Dr. Sultan Al Jaber, the presidency aims to facilitate ambitious, feasible, and substantial actions in line with the 1.5-degree Celsius target. The inaugural Global Stocktake (GST) will assess progress since the Paris Agreement’s adoption, offering a roadmap for intensified climate action.

With the theme #ClimateAction Unite. Act. Deliver., COP28 will tackle crucial issues, including the global stocktake and reduction of fossil fuel usage.

The conference is slated to continue until December 12, 2023, featuring key events such as the World Climate Action Summit hosted by UAE President Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan and the COP28 Business and Philanthropy Climate Forum, uniting over 1,000 CEOs and philanthropists.

Amid contributions from sponsors like Bank Windhoek, Capricorn Foundation, and UNDP, the Namibian pavilion at COP28 showcases collective efforts, underscoring the conference’s pivotal role in shaping the global climate agenda.


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