As the world braces for the 28th United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP28), a critical issue takes center stage: the demand by climate-affected, impoverished nations for financial compensation for the damages caused by climate change. This pressing matter, internationally recognized as "Loss and Damage," is set to become a focal point of the UN conference in Dubai.
Historical Debates and Present Challenges
Since the 27th UN Climate Conference in Sharm El-Sheikh, the establishment of a dedicated fund to address this issue has been fundamentally agreed upon. However, the financing of climate damages remains a complex and controversial subject. Wealthy nations fear endless financial liability for historically caused climate damages, with the United States rejecting the concept of "reparations" in favor of supporting the most vulnerable countries.
Striking a Balance
A compromise proposal suggests that the fund be managed by the World Bank, with large emerging countries such as China, which claims its status as a developing nation, encouraged, but not compelled, to contribute. Negotiations over the fund are ongoing, with alternative funding sources such as taxes on fossil fuels or levies on air and marine transport under discussion.
COP28: A Pivotal Moment
Among the contentious issues anticipated at the COP28 summit are fossil fuel phase-out, global stocktake of climate action, enhancement of renewable energy capacity, and, importantly, climate finance. The conference represents a critical opportunity for nations to advance in reining in climate change, with the urgency to act robustly against the climate crisis escalating with each passing moment.