By Joke Kujenya with Agency Report
On the inaugural day of the UN Climate Change Conference (COP28) in Dubai, delegates reached a consensus to establish a fund aimed at compensating vulnerable nations grappling with the severe impacts of climate change.
Considered a critical breakthrough, it was hailed as a pivotal moment for this year’s climate conference.
The fund, a persistent demand from developing nations on the front lines of climate change, seeks to address the financial burdens associated with escalating loss and damage resulting from extreme weather events like droughts, floods and rising sea levels.
During a press conference where the announcement was made, UN climate chief, Simon Stiell urged all governments and negotiations to harness this positive momentum to deliver ambitious outcomes throughout the conference in Dubai.
Developed nations, after years of intensive negotiations at the annual UN climate meetings, expressed support for the fund’s establishment last year during COP27 in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt.
Notably, Sultan al-Jaber, the President of COP28, declared that the United Arab Emirates would commit $100 million to the fund.
Germany has also pledged a significant contribution of $100 million, with the United States and Japan following suit with their own announcement of contributions.
The 28th annual Conference of Parties (COP) to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), scheduled to run until December 12, is being hosted at the expansive Expo City on the outskirts of Dubai.
Decorated with trees and foliage, the venue is expected to accommodate over 70,000 delegates, climate negotiators, and other participants collaborating to shape a sustainable future for planet.
UNFCCC Executive Secretary, Simon Stiell, delivering a stern warning during the conference’s opening, emphasized that the world is taking insufficient steps in the face of a daunting planetary crisis.
Stiell urged for bold and swift action, noting, “We are taking baby steps and stepping too slowly to work out the best responses to the complex climate impacts we are faced with.”
It was also noted at the press conference that this cautionary message echoed the recent provisional report from the UN weather agency, the WMO, which declared that climate records have been “shattered” by extreme weather, leaving a trail of devastation and despair.
It also says that as COP28 unfolds, the global community is under increasing pressure to address the urgent challenges posed by climate change, among others.