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Cop28 and UN near deal on $100bn climate damage fund

Villagers collect drinking water in Antananarivo, Madagascar. The region is facing drinking water shortages due to both drought and floods Matrix Images/Alexander Joe via Reuters
Villagers collect drinking water in Antananarivo, Madagascar. The region is facing shortages due to both drought and floods

The UAE’s Cop28 presidency, the United Nations and its partners have moved a step closer to setting up a fund to help vulnerable countries recover from damage caused by climate change. 

The plan to create a climate “loss and damage” fund was hailed as a breakthrough for developing country negotiations at Cop27 in Egypt last year.

But it has since proved challenging to achieve consensus on the fund’s size, operation and the exact contributions from developed and developing nations. 

A special UN committee tasked with implementing the fund met in Abu Dhabi last week as part of official pre-Cop28 summit talks. 

The committee agreed on a set of recommendations that will be put to governments at the annual conference that starts later this month. The aim is to get the fund up and running by 2024. 

The original proposal last year, published in a UN document seen by Reuters, was that the climate damage fund should provide a “minimum” of $100 billion by 2030. 

If it is launched, it would be the first UN fund that specifically aims to address irreparable damage caused to countries and economies by climate-driven floods, rising sea levels, drought and other disasters.    

Cop28 president Sultan Al Jaber said in a statement on Monday: “The transitional committee has broken deadlocks and found common ground to deliver clear recommendations. Parties must seal the deal in Dubai and fulfil our obligations on the Loss and Damage Fund.

“Billions of people, lives and livelihoods who are vulnerable to the effects of climate change depend upon the adoption of this recommended approach at Cop28.

“There is still more work to do,” he added. The details of the fund are now to be discussed at Cop28, which takes place from November 30 to December 12.