NAT 231130 COP-28 Press Conf  VSAKLANI-6-1701365177390
Dr Sultan Al Jaber (centre), COP28 President; Simon Stiell (left), Executive Secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, and Ambassador Majid Al Suwaidi, COP28 Director-General, addressing media on the opening day of COP28 at Expo City Dubai on Thursday Image Credit: Virendra Saklani/Gulf News

Dubai: The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) will set up a new board to determine how the Loss and Damage Fund pledged at COP28 in Dubai will be utilised, a top official said at the opening press conference of the UN Climate Change Summit on Thursday.

Simon Stiell, Executive Secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), said the formal process of how the fund will be capitalised in a sustainable way moving forward will be a decision by the board that can now be established, now that a unanimous decision has been adopted.

“So, there’s a long road ahead,” said Stiell.

He said the news on the Loss and Damage Fund gave the UN climate conference a running start. “All governments and the negotiators must use this momentum to deliver truly ambitious outcomes here in Dubai. We must keep our eyes on the prize, and every minute counts. We need to work and build on what we have seen today, as we work through the 12-13 days that are ahead of us.”

COP28 President Dr Sultan Al Jaber said the real work now begins.

“I am determined to demonstrate that this COP is different and this presidency is a different presidency. We are laser-focused on keeping 1.5 within reach and we are laser-focused on delivering the maximum highest ambition. I’m more confident than ever that we will deliver an unprecedented result. Our main focus is going to continue to be on translating visions and aspirations, and declarations and decisions and to real practical actions that will make a difference,” he added.

Hana Al Hashimi, COP28 Chief Climate Negotiator, explained how the fund will help developing countries.

“We are funding something unprecedented and crucial. This agile approach aims to address both rapid and slow onset losses, encompassing economic and non-economic aspects like cultural losses. The fund supports countries in recovering development losses and anticipating future losses. It works in tandem with broader funding arrangements and outcomes, including the operationalisation of the Santiago Network for Technical Assistance (which connects vulnerable developing countries with providers of technical assistance, knowledge, and resources they need to address climate risks),” she said.

UAE’s leadership hailed

Ambassador Majid Al Suwaidi, COP28 Director-General, took the opportunity to thank the UAE’s leadership for the successful start of COP28.

“The success of this first day of COP is really thanks to the leadership of the UAE. And the reflection we have today is thanks to the guidance that we’ve received from them. They have always been pushing us to be as ambitious as possible,” he said.

“And it reflects their approach to everything that they do in the UAE.. They don’t just talk about it, they deliver.”