•   Wednesday, 19 Jun, 2024

A call to action for Climate Damage Fund

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In a landmark decision on the very first day of the COP28 summit  in the United Arab Emirates, nearly 200 nations rallied to create a "loss and damage" fund, a significant stride toward supporting countries like Nepal that are grappling with the severe consequences of global warming. The urgency of this moment cannot be overstated, especially as the UN has warned that 2023 is poised to become the hottest year in human history. The establishment of this fund is undoubtedly a historic achievement. But it is imperative to underscore the critical need for substantial funding and simplified operational processes to effectively address the climate damage faced by nations, particularly echoing the concerns raised by Nepal. President Sultan Al Jaber's proclamation that the decision is evidence that COP28 can deliver raises expectations. However, mere establishment without robust financial commitments and streamlined operations will not translate into tangible relief for the vulnerable nations. The need for expedited action to transition to clean energy and curb emissions is apparent, yet a central focus of COP28 remains the stocktake of global progress, an evaluation that must be met with concrete steps and not just rhetoric.

The financial commitments made by the UAE and the European Union, though commendable, fall notably short of the $100 billion demanded by developing nations. While the announced $100 million from the UAE and $246 million from the EU are steps in the right direction, they are a fraction of the $400 billion annually estimated by the Loss and Damage Collaborators to effectively address climate damage. These pledges should be seen as initial contributions, not the final commitment. The scale of the climate crisis demands a substantial and sustained financial commitment from the wealthier nations responsible for the majority of emissions. Nepal, in particular, has been vocal about the necessity for the establishment of the fund but emphasizes the need for a simplified operational process. Dr. Deepak Kharal, secretary at the Ministry of Forests and Environment, rightly points out that while the long-standing demand has been fulfilled, the operational process requires streamlining. The lessons learned from the committee formed in Egypt and its subsequent recommendations should guide the operationalization of the fund to ensure efficiency, transparency, and equitable distribution of resources.

The disparity between the funds demanded and the contributions pledged highlights the urgent need to mobilize more substantial financial commitments. Climate experts rightly warn against letting the announcement of a few million dollars overshadow the actual requirement of $1.5 trillion. This is not a time for token gestures; it is a moment to acknowledge the enormity of the challenge and act accordingly. International organizations advocating for climate justice, like ActionAid International, rightly emphasize that while the establishment of the fund is an important step, it is only the beginning. Climate disasters continue to escalate, necessitating ongoing, substantial financial support. The fund must not be seen as a one-time solution but as a sustained commitment to mitigating and addressing the evolving impacts of climate change. COP28's decision to establish the Climate Damage Fund is a historic moment, but the real work lies ahead. Mobilizing adequate funds, simplifying operational processes, and ensuring that wealthier nations meet their commitments are non-negotiable steps for COP28 to deliver on its promise. The urgency of the climate crisis demands nothing less than a concerted and immediate global effort. The world is watching, and future generations depend on our collective resolve to address the climate challenges we face today.


 


Source: myRepublica
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