The operationalization of the Loss and Damage fund at COP28, being hosted by Dubai, United Arab Emirates marks a crucial and historic step forward in the global efforts to address the disastrous impacts of climate change, fulfilling a longstanding demand of developing nations grappling with the adverse effects of environment degradation.
This fund, discussed for nearly three decades, gained momentum during the previous COP summit in Egypt, following the devastating Pakistan floods of 2022 and the chairmanship of the G77 group. The adoption is also a diplomatic success, with Pakistan’s vocal advocacy on climate issues playing a pivotal role.
The Loss and Damage fund answers the impassioned appeals of developing nations, which, despite contributing minimally to global carbon emissions, bear the disproportionate consequences of climate change. The damages and losses experienced by these nations due to phenomena such as floods and erratic weather patterns necessitate compensation from developed countries, primarily responsible for the emission of greenhouse gases.
While the establishment of the Loss and Damage fund is a commendable achievement, the international community must now focus on developing a well-managed mechanism for its effective utilization. The pledges made by various countries, including the UAE’s $100 million, Britain’s $51 million, the United States’ $17.5 million, Japan’s $10 million, and the European Union’s $245.39 million (including Germany’s $100 million), signal a positive start. The UAE has also announced the establishment of a thirty billion dollars fund for global climate solutions. However, it is essential to recognize that these pledges, while significant, may not be sufficient to address the gravity of the situation. Pakistan’s Prime Minister Anwaar ul Haq in his speech at the Global Stock Take (GST) High-Level Event on the Means of Implementation during the World Climate Action Summit in Dubai emphasized that the financial needs of developing countries far exceed the unfulfilled $100 billion pledge. According to the PM, developing nations require $6 trillion by 2030, with adaptation needs alone amounting to $387 billion per year until 2030. The existing adaptation finance, estimated at around $21 billion, leaves a considerable gap. This highlights the urgency for developed nations to contribute substantially, recognizing the scale of the challenge.
Pakistan and Climate Change
Developing nations require sustained financial support, technology transfer, and capacity building to mitigate and adapt to the impacts of climate change. The establishment of the Loss and Damage fund should be the beginning of a comprehensive effort to fulfill the means of implementation, based on the principles of equity but differentiated responsibilities. Actions must speak louder than words now.
The call from the UN Secretary General for developed countries to lead efforts for drastic emissions cuts is pivotal. Achieving the 1.5-degree limit, crucial for mitigating the worst impacts of climate change, requires global leadership, cooperation, and political will. It necessitates a commitment to cease burning all fossil fuels, underscoring the urgency of transitioning to renewable energy sources. King Charges’ remarks also emphasized the imperative of repairing and restoring nature’s unique economy, one based on harmony and balance. The need of the hour is that the developed countries must take responsibility and contribute in minimizing the sufferings of the developing countries.
Pakistan stands as one of the most severely affected countries by the impacts of climate change. The super floods of 2022, a stark manifestation of the intensifying climate crisis, inflicted colossal losses on the nation, affecting communities, infrastructure, and the overall socio-economic fabric. In the wake of such challenges, it is imperative for our government authorities to effectively showcase the country’s climate-related projects on the global stage. This proactive engagement becomes crucial for securing a fair and substantial share from the Loss and Damage fund. By highlighting its adaptation and mitigation initiatives, Pakistan not only underscores the urgency of climate action but also positions itself to receive the necessary support to address and recover from the devastating impacts of climate change.