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COP28 opens with a bang: a fund to finance climate “loss and damage” in vulnerable countries takes shape

Thursday, November 30, 2023

DUBAI – United Arab Emirates

Cop28 kicked off in Dubai on Thursday November 30, 2023.In a sign that the Israel-Hamas conflict is on everyone’s mind, the president of the previous conference, Sameh Choukri, head of Egyptian diplomacy, called for a short moment of silence at the start of the ceremony for “all civilians who have died in the current conflict in Gaza”.Israeli President Isaac Herzog, who has also confirmed his attendance, will use the occasion to conduct a series of diplomatic meetings aimed at securing the release of other hostages held by Hamas, his office said.”These next two weeks will not be easy”, warned COP28 President Sultan Al Jaber, as he opened the 28th United Nations Climate Change Conference at a ceremony attended by some 100,000 delegates from nearly 200 countries.At least 149 world leaders are expected to attend, each taking the podium to call for climate protection from a different position.This COP28 will attract even more registrants than the previous edition, with 97,000 registered, more than double the number for COP27.

At the gateway to the desert, in Dubai, the site of the 2020 World Expo thus becomes for two weeks the beating heart of climate diplomacy, with the Emirates and the UN hoping for a COP as historic as the one in Paris in 2015.
The event got off to a flying start on the first day, with the adoption of a fund to finance climate “loss and damage” in vulnerable countries. This historic decision will bring some satisfaction to the countries of the South, which are suffering the consequences of pollution inflicted by the ultra-industrialized countries of the North. This long-awaited decision, which had already been approved during COP27 without the details being determined, was greeted by a standing ovation from delegates from nearly all the participating countries.
“It’s a positive signal for the world and for our work”, declared the Emirati president of COP28.It remains to be seen how much this fund, initially hosted by the World Bank, will be endowed with. Adoption would pave the way for developed countries to announce their first financial pledges.The European Union, Germany, France, Denmark and the United Arab Emirates are expected to pledge several hundred million dollars by Saturday, according to negotiators interviewed by AFP.

But “we expect promises in the billions, not millions”, urged Rachel Cleetus, of the American group Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS).

Humaniterre –

Source AFP

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