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COP28 kicks off with a $475 million loss and damage fund

COP28 kicks off with a $475 million loss and damage fund
Dubai: A loss and damage fund to help countries reeling under the impact of climate change was officially launched on the opening day of the COP28 climate conference in Dubai on Friday.

The initial funding is estimated to be $475 million, with the European Union pledging $255.39 million, the US $17.5, Japan $10 million and the host UAE $100 million.

Announced during COP27 at Sharm el-Shaikh in Egypt last year, the loss and damage fund was a long-pending demand of developing countries to provide them with financial assistance to recover from the cascading effect of climate disasters.

The World Bank will be the interim host to the fund for a period of four years — an issue that has previously fuelled tensions between high-income and low-income countries.

The World Bank will oversee the fund for a period of four years. Earlier, the developing nations were not keen to have the World Bank manage the funds as they perceived it as a means by which high income countries could have more control over the finances. This has been accepted by the developing nations now.

“Today’s news on loss and damage gives this conference a running start. Governments must use this momentum to deliver a truly ambitious outcome in Dubai,” said UN Climate Change Executive Secretary Simon Stiell.

India supported the decision to operationalise the loss and damage fund. Union Environment Minister Bhupender Yadav said, “India strongly supports the decision to operationalise the Loss and Damage fund at the opening plenary of COP28. The decision will prove to be a landmark move.