Delegates in attendance at the 28th United Nations Climate Change Conference in Dubai, United Arab Emirates have advanced a “historic agreement”- the loss and damage fund -which is to be used to assist poor countries with mitigating climate disasters.
COP28 is the largest global climate change gathering with the focus of this year’s meeting set on unlocking climate financing.
The newly appointed COP28 President Dr Sultan Al Jaber on November 30, the opening day of the conference said the agreement sends a ““positive signal of momentum to the world” about the work that will be done in Dubai over the next two weeks.
“For too long finance has not been available, accessible or affordable. I ask you to be flexible. We must ensure that this COP28 delivers the most ambitious global stocktake possible.”
There were a number of small pledges made by countries including $100 million from the COP28 host, the United Arab Emirates, at least US$51m from Britain, US$17.5m from the United States, US$10m from Japan and the European Union later stepped up to pledge US$245.3m which included US$100m pledged by Germany.
Before he departed for the conference, Prime Minister, Dr Ralph Gonsalves highlighted the importance of operationalizing the loss and damage fund, especially for Small Island Developing States (SIDS).
“People might asking, how does this affect us? When you see the extent of sea erosion and the rising seas… the effect of fish, conch,lobster, the unseasonal rainfall. And then you have more frequent and more dangerous storms, you see that the matter is very urgent.
Some countries, including St Vincent and the Grenadines, will be flooded if we don’t have a control on the emissions of greenhouse gasses. It is a huge subject.”
The adoption of the fund was described by world leaders as a “historic agreement” and the COP28 President said that through the Global Stocktake, there is the opportunity to bring the core elements of climate change – mitigation, adaptation and financing – under “one umbrella”.
“We know as you know, the gravity of this moment. We feel the urgency of this work and we see that the world has reached a crossroads. Through the global stocktake … we can finally bring mitigation, adaptation and means of implementation which includes finance under one umbrella,giving clear direction on nationally determined contributions and connecting everything we agree here to practical action in the real world.”
The Global Stocktake (GST) is a review process made under the Paris Agreement which takes account of how countries are progressing towards reducing carbon emissions and adapting to climate change. The Global Stocktake at COP28 in Dubai will be the very first inventory check.
Included in the SVG delegation are Minister of Tourism and Civil Aviation, Carlos James, who will deliver an address on December 5 on the topic of sustainable tourism for small islands developing states, and other technical officers.