https://www.myjoyonline.com/cop28-historic-loss-and-damage-fund-adopted-at-opening-plenary/-------https://www.myjoyonline.com/cop28-historic-loss-and-damage-fund-adopted-at-opening-plenary/

On the first day of COP28, the Loss and Damage Fund was operationalized at the opening plenary, with new pledges of about USD300 million announced in financial support. 

COP28 host, the UAE pledged USD 100 million, Germany - USD 100 million, UK - GBP 60 million/USD 75 million, Japan - USD 10 million, and the USA - USD 17.5 million.

But the success of COP28 will ultimately be judged on addressing the root cause of the climate crisis – fossil fuels.

“A key issue to be addressed head on at this COP is that it delivers an outcome that deals with the need to justly and equitably phase out fossil fuels,” said Tasneem Essop, Executive Director, Climate Action Network. 

Climate Action Network (CAN) said at a press briefing that the climate conference will be judged on whether it agrees to a plan for an equitable phase out fossil fuels, delivers the finance for a just transition and gets the Loss and Damage Fund up and running.

Harjeet Singh, Head of Global Political Strategy, CAN International commended the move by the host of the COP28 climate conference and the other several affluent nations announcing their financial support. 

“While these funds are valuable in initiating the Fund's activities, it is important to recognise that the costs of rebuilding from the devastating effects of climate disasters run into hundreds of billions of dollars annually. Rich countries, given their significantly higher historical responsibility, must do more on a scale commensurate with their impact on planet-heating emissions," he said.

Rachel Cleetus, Policy Director and Lead Economist for the Climate and Energy Programme at the Union of Concerned Scientists, noted the climate crisis falls disproportionately on marginalised and disadvantaged people. 

She therefore said “the consensus recommendations for operationalizing the Loss and Damage Fund are far from perfect yet are an important step forward and should be quickly adopted at COP28. Richer nations–including the United States–must also live up to their responsibility and provide robust resources for the Fund.

“The needs are immense and crushing for low- and middle-income nations already reeling from billions of dollars of damages and an immense human toll from extreme climate impacts. Moving this agreement forward expeditiously will also create the space for addressing other pressing issues, including the phase out of fossil fuels which are the root cause of climate change and loss and damage.”

For Teresa Anderson, Global Lead on Climate Justice, ActionAid International, the COP28 food systems initiative will only be useful if it leads to real commitments to move away from industrialised agriculture and to scale up the adoption of real solutions. 

“We need real commitments to move away from industrialised agriculture which is the second largest cause of greenhouse gas emissions. The fossil fuel and fertiliser industries are working hand in hand and the world food systems have become complicit in their own destruction,” she said.

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