What You Need to Know.
- After a year of preparation and months of anticipation, the twenty-eighth annual United Nations Conference of Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP28) opened in Dubai on November 30, 2023. Live and recorded coverage of the plenary sessions can be found on the UNFCCC COP28 website.
- UN Climate Change Executive Secretary Simon Stiell opened the conference with a powerful call to action and reminder of what is at stake at COP28. “Remember this. Behind every line you work on. Every word or comma you wrestle with here at COP. There is a human being, a family, a community, that depends on you. Turn the badge around your necks into a badge of honour, and a life belt for the millions of people you are working for. Accelerate climate action. Teach it to run.”
- With a standing ovation from attendees, delegates approved the operationalization of a fund to assist developing countries in responding to economic and non-economic loss and damage associated with the adverse effects of climate change. COP28 President Dr. Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber praised the approval of the loss and damage fund—the first time a decision has been adopted on the first day of any COP—as setting “a clear ambition for [delegates] to agree [to] a comprehensive, ambitious GST [Global Stocktake] decision over the next twelve days.”
- The fund will initially be hosted by the World Bank for an interim period of four years, at which time an independent assessment of the World Bank’s performance as a host will be conducted. World leaders must now nominate and appoint a board to operationalize the fund. The UNFCCC also must formulate and post a final decision reflecting today’s approval.
- Funding commitments for the loss and damage fund are mounting, with contributing countries facing a mix of peer pressure and political constraints. National contribution pledges to date include: UAE ($100 million); UK ($51 million); US ($17.5 million); Japan ($10 million); European Union ($245 million, including $100 million pledged by Germany).