China welcomes fund for nations vulnerable to climate change
The operationalization of the Loss and Damage Fund, which aims to support the world's most vulnerable countries in their efforts to cope with the adverse effects of climate change, marked "big progress" at the ongoing COP28 United Nations climate change convention in Dubai, the United Arab Emirates. Xie Zhenhua, China's special envoy for climate change, made the remarks on Friday, at an event on the sidelines of COP28, which is scheduled to last until Dec 12. The fund was operationalized when the annual UN gathering kicked off on Thursday. Several countries, led by the UAE, made financial commitments to the fund, with the UAE contributing $100 million, Germany also allocating $100 million, the United Kingdom contributing $50.5 million, the United States pledging $17.5 million, and Japan committing $10 million. Xie described the situation as good news, especially since it happened on the opening day. The fund has been a major concern among developing countries, he said, especially those that are particularly vulnerable to climate change. "We feel very happy for that," he said. In accordance with the UN's Framework Convention on Climate Change, and its 2015 Paris Agreement, developed countries should provide financial and technological support to developing nations and now there has been progress in this regard, he said. "We hope for more contributions to the fund. And the developed nations should make even greater efforts for that," he said. First agreed during COP27, which was held in Egypt late last year, the fund has been a long-standing demand of developing nations, to help them cope with the costs of the devastation caused by climate change. COP28 President Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber said the speed at which the fund was brought from an idea into reality was "unprecedented". "This fund will support billions of people's lives and livelihoods that are particularly vulnerable to the effects of climate change," he was quoted as saying in an online statement on the COP28 website. "It proves, the world can unite, can act, and can deliver."