Board meet discusses rolling out a global Loss and Damage Fund | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
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Board meet discusses rolling out a global Loss and Damage Fund

ByJayashree Nandi
Apr 30, 2024 11:31 PM IST

The fund was approved at the UN climate summit held in Dubai last year to assist vulnerable developing countries to respond to loss and damage associated with the adverse effects of the climate emergency

New Delhi:

People walk through floodwater caused by heavy rain while waiting for transportation on Sheikh Zayed Road highway in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, on April 18. A new report says climate change played a role in the floods. (AP)
People walk through floodwater caused by heavy rain while waiting for transportation on Sheikh Zayed Road highway in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, on April 18. A new report says climate change played a role in the floods. (AP)

The first board meeting of the new global Loss and Damage Fund that began in Abu Dhabi on Tuesday is expected to discuss a work plan, select the host country and discuss its operationalisation as a World Bank hosted financial intermediary.

The board will also review the status of resources and start a dialogue with civil society members. The fund has chosen Richard Sherman, climate negotiator from South Africa, and Jean Christophe Donnellier, French representative to the Green Climate Fund, as co-chairs of the board. The Bahamas, Barbados, the Philippines, Antigua and Barbuda are among countries that have offered to be the host country. The fund is yet to have an executive director. The board meeting will conclude on May 2.

The fund was approved at the UN climate summit held in Dubai last year to assist vulnerable developing countries to respond to economic and non-economic loss and damage associated with the adverse effects of the climate emergency, including extreme weather events and slow onset events. As a new channel for multilateral finance, it seeks to provide new, additional, predictable and adequate funds to developing countries and assist in mobilising external finance.

“Let’s make sure we build on that progress with a fully functioning fund,” Sultan Al Jaber, president of last year’s climate summit, said on Tuesday in his address to the board. “It took over three decades to establish this fund. Every region of the world is now vulnerable. The impacts of climate change are a clear and present danger to lives and livelihoods everywhere.”

A total of $792 million has been pledged for loss and damage funding arrangements, of which $662 million has been pledged to the fund, including $100 million from the United Arab Emirates. It is estimated that by 2050, the economic cost of loss and damage in developing countries will be around $1 trillion to $1.8 trillion, according to experts at the London School of Economics and International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis. They found climate change attributed costs of 185 extreme weather events from 2000 to 2019 to total $2.86 trillion, averaging $143 billion every year.

The G20 consensus statement released on September 9 stated that developing countries need $5.8-5.9 trillion before 2030 to implement their nationally determined contributions to reduce emissions, as well as $ 4 trillion per year for clean energy technologies to reach net zero emissions by 2050.

Non-profits Climate Action Network and Women and Gender Constituency said they expected the board to take a human rights-based approach in the further operationalization of the fund.

“As the newly formed board convenes to establish the governance of the Loss and Damage Fund, it is crucial that they demonstrate their commitment to rapidly escalating financial contributions well beyond the initial pledges of a few hundred million,” said climate activist Harjeet Singh. “With the stark reality of intensifying climate impacts, vulnerable communities cannot afford to wait. Rich countries must provide hundreds of billions annually with the speed and scale necessary for the recovery and rebuilding of lives and livelihoods shattered by climate crises in poorer nations.”

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