UAE and EU aim to breathe life into loss and damage fund at Cop28

Dr Sultan Al Jaber, Cop 28 President-designate, discusses climate agenda with senior officials in Brussels

Dr Sultan Al Jaber, Cop28 President-designate and UAE Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology, was in Brussels for high-profile meetings on Monday. Reuters
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Dr Sultan Al Jaber, Cop 28 President-designate, and the EU will join forces to achieve "the highest possible ambition" at Cop28 in the UAE, at which they aim to step up action on a loss and damage fund for vulnerable countries, a joint statement has said.

"Cop28 is a critical opportunity to show unity and restore faith in multilateralism in a world that is polarised through a positive, action-oriented engagement and outcomes," said both parties in a statement published on Monday on the website of the European Commission, the EU's executive arm.

The statement came as Dr Al Jaber, UAE Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology, held a series of meetings in Brussels with the bloc's 27 foreign ministers and senior EU officials, including Commissioner for Climate Action Wopke Hoekstra.

Dr Al Jaber and the EU Commission said they shared the conviction that Cop 28 "must accelerate practical action on mitigation, adaptation, loss and damage and climate finance and build a fully inclusive Cop28 that leaves no one behind".

Among their priorities is the "successful completion" of the first global stocktake – a process for countries and stakeholders to monitor progress towards meeting the goals of the 2015 Paris Climate Change Agreement, which established the 1.5°C goal and set the date of the first stocktake for this year.

Dr Al Jaber and Mr Hoekstra also "emphasised the importance of operationalising the loss and damage funding arrangements at Cop28, including early pledges."

The fund is meant to help vulnerable countries most hit by extreme weather events but questions still remain about its structure and how it will be financed.

"The Commissioner and the Cop28 President welcomed the very positive outcome of the transitional committee in Abu Dhabi," said the statement, a reference to a committee set up last year to work out the details of the loss and damage fund.

Mr Hoekstra said he was ready to announce a "substantial financial contribution by the EU and its member states" for the loss and damage fund at Cop28. The Commission also plans to announce a financial contribution of the Cop28 renewable energy and energy efficiency pledge.

The pair "emphasised the need for significant progress on enhanced adaptation action that builds resilience and reduces vulnerability, with a robust outcome on the Global Goal on Adaptation at Cop28".

They "re-emphasised that the depth and breadth of the UAE and EU relations and the trust established over decades of partnership are critical to our ability to work together and achieve our collective effort of an ambitious outcome at Cop28", said the statement.

Cop28, which will be held in the UAE between November 30 and December 12, has been labelled by EU negotiators as the most important climate summit since the 2015 Paris Agreement, at which world leaders agreed to limit the increase in global temperatures to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels.

Dr Al Jaber has recently called for ambitions on climate finance and adaptation to be raised and warned “trillions, not billions” must be spent to protect the planet.

Updated: November 14, 2023, 5:47 AM