COP28 2023: India Likely To Push For Bigger Fund To Compensate Developing Countries For Climate Change, Says UN Official

COP28 2023: India Likely To Push For Bigger Fund To Compensate Developing Countries For Climate Change, Says UN Official

At COP27 last year, the Loss and Damage Fund was agreed to by the Parties to provide financial assistance to developing nations suffering from adverse climate change impacts.

PTIUpdated: Thursday, November 30, 2023, 06:11 PM IST
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The 28th session of the UN Climate Change Conference of Parties in the UAE (COP 28) | COP28 UAE/ X

India is expected to advocate for a bigger scope in the Loss and Damages Fund (LDF) to compensate developing nations for climate change to ensure inclusivity for them, a senior UN official has said, ahead of the global climate talks that begin on Thursday.

COP28's key focus will be the operationalisation of global loss and damage fund

At COP27 last year, the Loss and Damage Fund was agreed to by the Parties to provide financial assistance to developing nations suffering from adverse climate change impacts. The operationalisation of the global loss and damage fund (Loss and Damage Fund) will be a key focus at COP28, including consideration of eligibility requirements, funding sources, the scope of the fund and whether the World Bank will serve as interim trustee and host of the fund for an initial four year period, a senior UN official told PTI.

India anticipated to call for a bigger scope in LDF

The UN official, who is part of the Indian delegation, said India is expected to advocate to call for a bigger scope in the Loss and Damages Fund (LDF), urging inclusivity for developing nations. A pivotal focus for COP28 lies in tripling renewable energy targets by 2030, with India fully committed to this ambitious goal and well-positioned to achieve it, the official, who did not want to be identified, said.

The present COP Presidency has prepared a draft proposal to operationalise the loss and damage fund, which confirms what the Loss and Damage fund technical committee had recommended in its last meeting-that the World Bank be the interim host of the fund. It also said that if the board which would be set up to supervise the fund finds the work of the World Bank satisfactory then it will become the permanent host.

Nearly 70,000 representatives from 200 countries are expected to attend COP28

Dubai is abuzz with activity as preparations for the highly anticipated annual climate talks, COP28, are in full swing, which will kickstart from Thursday. About 70,000 delegates from nearly 200 countries are expected to participate in the global conference which is set to commence on Thursday and run through December 12.

PM Narendra Modi, England's King Charles III and more, to attend COP28

Heads of state and governments, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi, King Charles III of England, Brazilian President Lula da Silva, and Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez, are expected to be present at the climate summit. The leaders will be actively engaged on December 1 and 2, taking part in the Global Climate Action Summit. Subsequent days will witness closed-door discussions among officials and experts, with significant high-level political decisions anticipated in the final days to shape the resolution.

The COP28 promises several landmark events, including the inaugural Global Stocktake (GST), offering a comprehensive assessment of progress since the adoption of the Paris Agreement. This crucial evaluation aims to align global efforts on climate action, addressing gaps in progress, a senior UN official said. 

COP28 key agendas

The key agenda items include the progressive abandonment of fossil fuels, securing adequate financing for a just transition, and navigating the challenge of maintaining global warming goals amid a growing lack of trust in government commitments, particularly between affluent nations and the Global South, noted another official. 

A report recently published by UN Climate Change shows that national climate action plans (known as nationally determined contributions, or 'NDCs') would collectively lower greenhouse gas emissions to 2 per cent below 2019 levels by 2030, while the science is clear that a 43 per cent reduction is needed. 

"Over 160 world leaders are headed to Dubai because only cooperation between nations can get humanity back in this race. But COP28 cannot be just a photo-op. Leaders must deliver, the message is clear," said UN Climate Change Executive Secretary Simon Stiell. 

"And as leaders leave Dubai after the opening summit, their message to their negotiators must be equally clear: don't come home without a deal that will make a real difference," he added. 

Climate finance stands at the heart of this transformation. Replenishing the Green Climate Fund, doubling financial resources for adaptation and operationalising the Loss and Damage Fund are key to keeping 1.5°C within reach while leaving no one behind. "The reality is that without much more finance flowing to developing countries, a renewables revolution will remain a mirage in the desert. COP28 must turn it into a reality," Stiell said.

Progress on climate finance at COP28 will be crucial to build trust in other negotiation areas and to lay the groundwork for an even more ambitious "New Collective Quantified Goal" for climate finance, which must be in place next year. It will also set the stage for a just and inclusive transition to renewable energy and the phasing out of fossil fuels, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) said in a statement.

Urgent actions are required, said COP28 President 

"We don't have any time to waste. We need to take urgent action now to reduce emissions. At COP28, every country and every company will be held to account, guided by the north star of keeping 1.5°C within reach," COP28 President Dr Sultan Al Jaber was quoted as saying in the statement.

"All parties should be prepared to deliver a high-ambition decision in response to the global stocktake that reduces emissions while protecting people, lives and livelihoods," Al Jaber added.

Egyptian Minister of Foreign Affairs and COP27 President Sameh Shoukry underscored that it is of crucial importance to continue building on previous achievements, but more importantly to implement what we already agreed upon.

"We cannot achieve our common goals without having everyone on board, most importantly the Global South. We need to start delivering on climate justice and provide the needed tools that we already agreed upon in Sharm el-Sheikh for funding loss and damage, including the establishment of a fund. One of the major outcomes that has to come out of COP28 is for the fund to be fully operationalized and funded," he said.

(This story was produced as part of the 2023 Climate Change Media Partnership, a journalism fellowship organised by Internews' Earth Journalism Network and the Stanley Center for Peace and Security)

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