20231204 sultan al jaber
Image Credit: Dhanusha Gokulan/Gulf News

Dubai: Governments, businesses, investors and philanthropies have announced over $57 billion in funding across the climate agenda in just the first four days of the UN climate conference, according to COP28 President Sultan Al Jaber.

Announcements for billions and millions of dollars in funding have poured in across the entire climate agenda, including on finance, health, food, nature, and energy, the Presidency said in a press conference on Monday. Dubai: COP28 President Dr Sultan Al Jaber highlights the successes of COP28 to date at the COP28 Presidency Press Conference.

"We very much believe and respect the science," he told a press conference.

The loss and damage fund, a landmark deal to help the world's poorest nations pay for irreversible climate disaster impacts, has received $725 million in pledges from various countries, including a $100 million commitment from the UAE. The deal was agreed upon on the first day of the climate conference.

"The loss and damage was in real danger of not happening at all until we made a bold call and requested to convene a special session before the conference. We ensured we give it our best shot," Al Jaber said. The special session was convened ahead of the COP28 conference.

8 pledges, declarations and 3 more to come

In addition, Al Jaber said eight pledges and declarations made at COP28 have received historic support, with three more to be announced in the coming days. These include the first-ever declarations on the transformation of food systems, health, renewable energy and efficiency, and initiatives to decarbonize heavy-emitting industries.

"Three additional declarations will be announced in the coming days on hydrogen, cooling, and gender," stated Al Jaber.

Breakdown of financial pledges and contributions so far:

- Loss and Damage: $725 million

- Green Climate Fund: $3.5 billion (increasing second replenishment to $12.8 billion)

- Renewable Energy: $2.5 billion

- Technology: $568 million

- Methane: $1.2 billion

- Climate Finance: Over $30 billion from UAE (plus $200 million in Special Drawing Rights and an increase of $9 billion annually from the World Bank)

- Food: $2.6 Billion

- Nature: $2.6 Billion

- Health: $2.7 billion

- Water: $150 million

- Relief, Recovery and Peace: $1.2 billion

- Local Climate Action: $467 million

We believe in climate science: Al Jaber

In response to a December 3 report in the Guardian newspaper on comments he made last month on the phase-out of fossil fuels, Al Jaber said, "We're all here because we made a very clear call to action, and we've been very upfront about it. The UAE takes this task with humility and responsibility, and we fully understand the urgency behind this matter. We believe and respect the science," said the COP President.

"I am quite surprised with the constant and repeated attempts to undermine the work of the COP28 presidency," Al Jaber said.

The UN climate science agency, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, has said that limiting warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius by 2050 requires significantly reducing the use of fossil fuels and eliminating the use of unabated coal.

IPCC Chair Jim Skea joined Al Jaber at the news conference and said he had held several meetings with the COP28 chief on climate science. "Dr. Sultan has been attentive to the science as we have discussed it, and I think he fully understood it," Skea said.

Pledges and declarations made so far:

-119 countries have endorsed the Global Renewables and Energy Efficiency Pledge

-137 countries have endorsed the COP28 UAE Declaration on Agriculture, Food, and Climate

-125 countries have endorsed the COP28 UAE Declaration on Climate and Health

-74 countries and 40 organizations have endorsed the COP28 UAE Declaration on Climate Relief, Recovery & Peace

-12 countries have endorsed the COP28 UAE Declaration on Climate Finance

-64 countries have endorsed the Coalition for High Ambition Multilevel Partnerships (Champ) Pledge

-51 countries have endorsed the Oil and Gas Decarbonization Charter, representing 40 per cent of global oil production

-35 countries and six industry associations have endorsed the Industrial Transition Accelerator, including the World Steel Association, International Aluminium Institute, Global Renewable Alliance, Global Cement and Concrete Association, Oil and Gas Climate Initiative, and International Air Transport Association.