Brandon Wu, ActionAid USA’s Director of Policy and Campaigns and a civil society observer at the Loss & Damage Transitional Committee meetings this year, said:
“This is an imperfect but important step towards filling the massive support gap that communities in developing countries need to recover and rebuild from climate impacts. The Loss & Damage Fund has some deep flaws because of developed countries prioritizing their own agendas over the needs of impacted communities in poorer countries, even as those same developed countries appear reluctant to put in money at the scale that is needed. The struggle will continue beyond COP28 as the specifics of the Fund must be implemented in a way that is as responsive and accountable to communities as possible, and rich countries must pay up to fix what they have broken.
Make no mistake: the rich developed countries were pressured into accepting a Loss & Damage Fund. They did not want it and – led by the United States in particular – have been fighting against it for years. They watered down the language in the Fund’s governing instrument to ensure they had no real obligation to contribute. Now that it has been created, they must not use its mere existence to claim that they are somehow ‘doing their fair share.’ Today’s agreement is an important step but still very much the bare minimum. In order to ensure it’s a step forward at all, we need to see immediate pledges from developed countries to contribute to the new Fund.
In addition, the conditions that the World Bank accepted in order to host the Loss & Damage Fund show that the Bank is not a fit-for-purpose host institution. However, now that the World Bank has become the agreed host – over strident civil society objections – it must quickly demonstrate that it can meet these conditions, many of which may require significant policy changes within the Bank’s ponderous bureaucracy. We will be watching very carefully to ensure the needed reforms happen promptly. If they do not, the L&D Fund must be moved out of the World Bank immediately.”
Teresa Anderson, ActionAid International’s Climate Justice Global Lead, said:
“After 28 rounds of climate talks, the world’s governments have finally agreed to help people whose lives have been devastated by climate disasters. It’s a small ask. But a big moment. With the launch of the Loss and Damage Fund, the world is finally saying, “We are in this together.”
For the communities being pushed deeper into poverty with every disaster that destroys their homes and floods their crops, this moment in Dubai offers hope.
The UAE’s contribution of USD100 million is welcome, both for its solid cash and for the pressure it puts on the world’s biggest polluters to also step up and recognize their responsibility for decades of pollution.
So far, the contributions from rich countries have been far less than their fair share, considering they have been polluting for decades.
Today’s agreement is an important step but still very much the bare minimum. The story doesn’t end here. Today’s funding announcements have got the ball rolling, and we still need to see more rich countries making real announcements here at COP to really fill the Fund. And with climate disasters likely to escalate year-on-year, the need for Loss and Damage Fund financing will only continue to grow. The good news is, we have the means to help if we have the will.”
For media requests, please email Christal.James@actionaid.org or call 704 665 9743.
Spokespeople are available:
- Brandon Wu is currently here in the U.S. and available for interviews.
- Teresa Anderson is at COP28 and available for interviews and media engagements.
ActionAid is a global federation working with more than 15 million people living in more than 40 of the world’s poorest countries. We want to see a just, fair, and sustainable world in which everybody enjoys the right to a life of dignity and freedom from poverty and oppression. We work to achieve social justice and gender equality and to eradicate poverty.