Dr. Sultan Al Jaber, Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology
File photo of COP28 President Dr Sultan Al Jaber, Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology Image Credit: Ahmed Ramzan/Gulf News

Abu Dhabi: COP28 President Dr Sultan Al Jaber heralded the successful conclusion of a vital United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) meeting on the implementation of the Loss and Damage Fund, held in Abu Dhabi, as a vital step towards a successful outcome on the road to COP28.

Once up and running the Fund would provide particularly vulnerable countries, many at extreme risk from climate change, with funding to support recovery from the impacts of climate change.

Dr Al Jaber said: “As we have shown in Abu Dhabi, multilateralism works. 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.”

The recommendation, if adopted by consensus at COP28, has the potential to impact “billions of people, lives and livelihoods who are vulnerable to the effects of climate change”. They, Dr Al Jaber said, “depend upon the adoption of this recommended approach at COP28”.

‘Responsible for operationalising’

The Fifth Meeting of the Transitional Committee on Loss and Damage, held on November 3 and 4 in Abu Dhabi, has produced recommendations including the provision of much-needed, grant-based support to countries particularly impacted by climate and loss. At COP28 Parties will now be responsible for operationalising the fund.

“I welcome the agreement reached in Abu Dhabi by the Transitional Committee,” Dr Al Jaber said in a statement. “This clear and strong recommendation to operationalise the Loss and Damage Fund and funding arrangements, paves the way for agreement at COP28.”

The agreement to establish a Loss and Damage fund was heralded as a key breakthrough at COP27 held in Sharm El Sheikh.

“There is still more work to do but I would like to thank the Transitional Committee, including co-chairs Outi Honkatukia of Finland and Richard Sherman of South Africa, for all their long days in getting to this stage. We have sent a clear message, unity won the day,” said Dr Al Jaber.

The COP28 Presidency hosted the meeting after the previous session ended without conclusion. The Transitional Committee was established after COP27 to make recommendations for consideration and adoption at COP28, which is starting in 25 days, in Dubai. The UNFCCC managed the Committee meeting.

The agreed recommendations will now be socialized with national governments ahead of COP28, so the fund can be activated and capitalised.

The COP28 Presidency has repeatedly advocated for the operationalisation of the fund and funding arrangements, with Dr Al Jaber stating at last month’s Pre-COP event that Parties “must deliver” on the fund. Progress in loss and damage represents “taking action for the world’s most climate vulnerable people,” he told delegates during the event.

About COP28

COP28 UAE will take place at Expo City Dubai from November 30 to December 12. The Conference is expected to convene over 70,000 participants, including heads of state, government officials, international industry leaders, private sector representatives, academics, experts, youth, and non-state actors.

As mandated by the Paris Climate Agreement, COP28 UAE will deliver the first ever Global Stocktake – a comprehensive evaluation of progress against climate goals.

The UAE will lead a process for all parties to agree upon a clear roadmap to accelerate progress through a pragmatic global energy transition and a “leave no one behind” approach to inclusive climate action.