Loss and Damage Fund to aid countries affected by climate change approved at COP28

Sunday, December 3rd, 2023

The annual United Nations Climate Change Conference of the Parties, known as COP28, started in Dubai, in the United Arab Emirates, on Friday, December 1st. The international gathering welcomes delegations from around the world, including Belize, who discuss potential solutions to the effects of climate change. On the first day of the two-week summit, the Loss and Damage Fund was approved and launched to assist poorer countries affected by climate change-related disasters.
A group of developed countries from Europe and North America, among others, committed more than $400 million to establish the Loss and Damage Fund, which will benefit countries like Belize. This initiative was formulated by a transitional committee through five challenging meetings over the past year. The Belize delegation in Dubai is very interested in this fund as the Jewel is geographically located in a vulnerable area in front of the Caribbean and is threatened yearly by natural disasters such as hurricanes.
Executive Director of the Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre, Dr. Colin Young, agreed that the Caribbean region is one of the most vulnerable spots in the world. “People are impacted significantly by these effects of climate change,” he said. “In terms of loss and damage, in Belize, we lose 7% of our GDP yearly.” Young detailed that the percentage in other Caribbean nations is much higher due to natural disasters. “The fight of the Caribbean for 30 years to have this fund, to provide the money that will assist the countries in recovery after loss and damage, is what is at stake here,” added Young.

COP38 President Sultan Ahmet al-Jaber

COP28 President Sultan Ahmet al-Jaber highlighted this announcement and the tremendous impact it will have on those nations on the front combating climate change. It was also stated that an independent board would be created to manage the funds. According to data relating to loss and damage in 55 affected countries, they have suffered $525 billion combined climate-crisis-fueled losses in the last 20 years, with this figure growing. The next step is to get the funds flowing to those needing them.
During COP27 in Egypt last year, the Belizean delegation led by Honourable Orlando Habet, Minister of Sustainable Development, Climate Change, and Disaster Risk Management, was at the forefront of the discussions regarding accessing climate finance for adaptation and mitigation efforts. Now that the Loss and Damage Fund has been approved, Belize will seek financial aid from this new program.


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