The new climate fund gives hope to developing countries – DW – 01/12/2023

The new climate fund gives hope to developing countries – DW – 01/12/2023

After years of seeing Uganda, his country, affected by the effects Climate change“You can’t predict what’s coming,” believes Irene Tuungirwe, executive director of the NGO Women for Green Economy Movement in Uganda. “When it’s the rainy season, the sun now shines, and when it’s the sunny season, it rains.” “It’s coming. So it’s hard to predict what’s going to happen.”

East Africa is suffering Severe dehydration Since 2020, the worst in 40 years, leaving more than 4 million people in need of humanitarian aid. World Weather Attribution scientists said drought was 100 times more likely due to global warming linked to the burning of fossil fuels.

This is not a unique case. In some regions, extreme weather events are becoming stronger and more frequent as the planet warms.

“The reality is that when disaster strikes, we hear about it, for a few days or weeks, but then we all forget about it,” said Harjit Singh, head of global political strategy at Climate Action Network International. “We don’t forget about it.” Giving them adequate support to recover from these impacts and rebuild their homes and livelihoods.

“Historic Agreement” on Loss and Damage

After more than a decade of calls for financing from developing countries to address the loss and damage caused by climate change, at the climate summit Conference of the Parties 27 Last year, it was agreed in Egypt to establish a fund. A year later, it was officially announced.

Sultan Al Jaber, President of the International Committee of the Red Cross, said: “I congratulate the parties on this historic decision. This sends a positive signal of momentum to the world and to our work.” Conference of the Parties 28 United Arab Emirates.

The aim of the new fund, described as a “landmark agreement”, is to help poor countries cover the cost of losses and damage associated with increasingly extreme weather. It could also provide money to address what are known as “tridual” impacts, such as rising sea levels, which could leave island nations like the Maldives submerged by the end of the century.

Following COP27, an agreement was eventually reached in early November, although observers said some parties were not happy with the outcome.

One of the main points of conflict was choosing the institution that would host the fund. The richest countries, such as the United States, favored the World Bank, but Alpha Kaluga, the main African negotiator on the matter, criticized that “the World Bank is an institution that excludes many developing countries in terms of development criteria.”

Historical responsibility for climate change

Assessing the extent to which candidate countries have access to such financing and which countries should contribute to it has also been controversial.

Developed countries want contributions from the oil-rich Gulf states and China, which is classified as a developing country despite being the second largest economy in the world after the United States.

Although China emits more carbon dioxide than any other country, the United States remains the largest source of emissions historically. Since the Industrial Revolution in the 19th century, China has released nearly twice as much carbon dioxide into the atmosphere as China.

“When it comes to legal and moral obligations, this falls on rich countries because of their historical responsibility,” said Singh of the International Climate Action Network.

The Transitional Committee’s recommendation to COP28 delegates does not require a commitment from industrialized countries to contribute to the Fund, but instead urges them to contribute and encourages developing countries to do the same.

Even one year after the floods in Pakistan, villages still lack food, shelter, basic sanitation facilities and access to water.Photo: Ali Kaifi/DW

Financial objectives of the new fund

Although the fund was agreed upon, no clear goal was set: the United Arab Emirates and Germany announced on Thursday (11/30/2023) that each would contribute 92 million euros.

Developing countries hope to make billions. According to the London School of Economics, losses and damages in developing countries could total between $290 and $580 billion annually until 2030.

There is some mistrust towards this fund, because already in 2009, industrialized countries agreed to mobilize $100 billion annually until 2020 and this was not achieved until 2023.

“We have to try,” believes Preeti Bhandari, senior advisor on the global climate program at the World Resources Institute. “We cannot give up just because not enough progress has been made. If this issue is not put on the table, if we give it a chance to be resolved.” From the beginning, the entire battle will be lost.”


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