By Gloria Dickie and Valerie Volcovici
Countries on Saturday took a step nearer to beginning a fund to assist poor states broken by climate disasters, despite reservations from growing international locations and the United States.
The deal to create a “loss and damage” fund was hailed as a breakthrough for growing nation negotiators on the United Nations climate talks in Egypt final yr, overcoming years of resistance from wealthy nations.
But over the previous 11 months, governments have struggled to attain consensus on particulars of the fund, comparable to who pays and the place the fund shall be situated.
A particular UN committee tasked with implementing the fund met for the fifth time in Abu Dhabi this week – after a standoff in Egypt final month – to finalize suggestions that shall be put to governments after they meet for the summit COP28 climate convention in Dubai in lower than 4 weeks. The purpose is to have the fund operational by 2024.
The committee, which represents a geographically numerous group of nations, determined to suggest the World Bank as trustee and host of the fund, a level of stress that has fueled divisions between developed and growing nations.
Hosting a fund on the World Bank, whose presidents are appointed by the United States, would give donor international locations an excessive amount of affect over the fund and entail excessive charges for recipient international locations, growing international locations have argued.
To contain all international locations, it was agreed that the World Bank would act as interim trustee and host of the fund for a interval of 4 years.
Jennifer Morgan, Germany’s particular climate envoy, stated in a submit on
Others have been much less optimistic.
“It’s a sad day for climate justice, as rich countries turn their backs on vulnerable communities,” stated Harjeet Singh, head of world coverage technique on the nonprofit Climate Action Network International.
“Rich international locations… haven’t solely compelled growing international locations to settle for the World Bank because the host physique of the Loss and Damage Fund, however have additionally evaded their obligation to lead the availability of monetary help to these communities and to these international locations.”
The committee additionally really helpful urging developed international locations to proceed offering help to the fund, however failed to determine whether or not rich nations can be topic to a strict monetary obligation to contribute.
“We regret that the text does not reflect the consensus on the need for clarity on the voluntary nature of contributions,” a US State Department official informed RockedBuzz through Reuters.
The United States tried to embrace a footnote clarifying that any contribution to the fund can be voluntary, however the fee chair didn’t permit it. The United States opposed this refusal.
Sultan al-Jaber, who will chair the COP28 talks, stated he welcomed the committee’s suggestions and that they’d pave the way in which for an settlement at COP28.
(Reporting by Gloria Dickie in London and Valerie Volcovici in Washington DC; Editing by Andrew Heavens)