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EU to kickstart ‘loss and damage’ fund at Cop28

COP28 President Dr. Sultan Al Jaber, right, and EU Climate Commissioner and Chief COP28 Negotiator Wopke Hoekstra, left Cop28
Cop28 President Sultan Al Jaber, right, and EU climate commissioner and chief Cop28 negotiator Wopke Hoekstra
  • Proposed $100bn to help poorer countries
  • Fund was key pledge of Cop27
  • Launch delayed by row over contributions

The European Union and its member states are preparing to announce a “substantial financial contribution” to the long-awaited United Nations fund to help vulnerable countries recover from climate-caused damage. 

The EU’s contribution to the “loss and damage fund” is expected to be announced during the Cop28 climate change summit starting later this month. 

The handout would kickstart the implementation of a fund the creation of which was a key pledge of the Cop27 summit in Egypt last year, but which has been delayed amid disagreements on how much richer and poorer nations should stump up. 

The Cop28 president, Sultan Al Jaber, and the EU climate commissioner and chief Cop28 negotiator, Wopke Hoekstra, met in Brussels on Monday and committed themselves to achieving the “highest possible ambition” for this year’s summit. 

“Cop28 must accelerate practical action on mitigation, adaptation loss and damage and climate finance, and build a fully inclusive Cop that leaves no one behind,”Al Jaber and Hoekstra said in a joint statement.

The completion of the global stocktake, a comprehensive review of countries’ progress on cutting emissions since the Paris Agreement of 2015, during Cop28 “should mark a turning point on climate action,” the pair said. 

The EU did not say how much it is planning to contribute to the fund.

Last week, a special UN committee tasked with implementing the fund met in Abu Dhabi as part of official pre-Cop28 summit talks. It agreed on recommendations that will be put to governments at Cop28, with the aim of getting the fund up and running by 2024. 

The UN’s original proposal last year was that the fund should provide a minimum of $100 billion by 2030. During Al Jaber’s Brussels visit, he also met the EU foreign affairs council and the European Commission’s College of Commissioners to discuss preparations for Cop28.

“The fact that the EU is stepping up in serious, meaningful ways ahead of Cop28 gives me hope,” Al Jaber said.

Participating nations “want to see language on fossil fuels and renewables in the negotiated text” of any global agreement that comes out of the summit, he said. 

Meanwhile, China, the world’s largest producer of harmful methane emissions, has set out a plan to take more “forceful” action to tackle the particularly potent global warming gas, the UK’s Financial Times reported. 

Ahead of Cop28 China pledged to track and reduce emissions from methane, but it stopped short of specifying exact timeframes and targets for cuts. 

China, Russia and India all chose not to sign a global methane pact made at Cop26 two years ago pledging to cut emissions by 30 percent by 2030 compared to 2020 levels.