Reacting to initial pledges totalling about US$420 million made on the first day of COP28 to finance the Loss and Damage Fund, which is intended to assist communities in developing countries suffering from disastrous weather events and other harms caused by global warming, Amnesty International’s Climate Advisor Ann Harrison said:
“While agreement on operating the Loss and Damage Fund is a welcome step after years of negotiations to address the massive human rights harms already suffered by people and communities around the world as a result of global warming, the financing pledges made today by a few countries fall far short of what is really required.
“The amount pledged initially is barely enough to get the fund running, and little more. Billions of dollars are needed to make a substantive difference to communities in desperate need of help to rebuild homes after storms, or to support farmers when their crops are destroyed, or those permanently displaced by the climate crisis.
“Considering the vast and excess profits accrued by fossil fuel companies last year while they continue to trash the climate, and that some the donor states today were responsible for a large proportion of historical greenhouse gas emissions, this is a disappointingly small initial sum. It is dwarfed by the total US$7 trillion in subsidies that many states, including some of these donors, provide annually to support the fossil fuel industry.
The amount pledged initially is barely enough to get the fund running, and little more.Ann Harrison, Amnesty International's Climate Advisor
“We urge states, especially developed countries and others including high-income fossil fuel producing nations, to make new and additional commitments to the fund on a scale which reflects the global nature of climate crisis, and the threat it presents to billions of people.
“The lack of any mention of human rights in the management of the fund is also deeply concerning, especially as it is likely to be run initially by the World Bank, which has at best a mixed record on implementing human rights safeguards in its operations.
“Amnesty International would urge the World Bank to commit to make the fund as accessible as possible, and for it to provide grants rather than loans to prevent increasing the indebtedness of developing states.”
An agreement to establish the Loss and Damage Fund was reached at COP27 last year but disagreements about how it should be funded and managed have dragged on for most of 2023. Initial pledges to the fund today were made by the EU, which agreed to provide US$245 million including US$109 million from Germany, a further US$100 million came from the United Arab Emirates, with smaller contributions from the UK at about US$51 million, the US with about U$17.5 million and Japan with US$10 million. COP28 is being held in Dubai between 30 November and 12 December. An Amnesty International delegation is attending the meeting.