Loss and damage fund will be delivered this year, COP28 presidency assures
The COP28 presidency has expressed optimism that the December climate summit will move the loss and damage agenda forward and ensure that countries convert pledges into actions. While meeting European Union Energy and Environment Ministers to discuss the plans and objectives for the upcoming COP28 conference, Dr Sultan Al-Jaber, the president-designate, maintained that the presidency was committed to ensuring a just energy transition that makes finance accessible to all, particularly in the Global South, to address climate. “I am encouraged to believe that donors will finally meet the $100 billion commitment this year and we also need to operationalise the loss and damage fund this year. We need to streamline and simplify access to climate finance and find new and scalable mechanisms to channel substantial private sector investment into the Global South,” said Dr Al-Jaber. On how to finance the energy transition, he said: “We need to streamline and simplify access to climate finance and find new and scalable mechanisms to channel substantial private sector investment into the Global South. This will require multi-lateral lenders to lower risk and attract private finance at the scale and scope needed.” At COP27 in Sharm el-Sheikh, President William Ruto, who spoke on behalf of the continent, called out the global west over what he described as ‘skirting around issues and delay tactics’ in sorting out regions such as Africa who bear the biggest brunt of the impacts of climate change. Dr Ruto told delegates that by 2050, climate impacts could cost African nations $50 billion annually. This is why President Ruto believes that the continent should pursue a more assertive climate agenda that strengthens food, energy infrastructure and development. Dr Al-Jaber further emphasised the critical importance of a successful global stocktake, highlighting the urgent need for a major course correction to reduce global emissions by 43 per cent by 2030 and accelerate the energy transition. “We cannot achieve a global transition without the support of Europe and the European Union (EU).” On actions to facilitate the expansion of renewables, Dr Al-Jaber called for “accelerating projects and related infrastructure, expanding power-grid connections, increasing investment in technologies like storage and increasing energy efficiencies.” The COP28 delegation went ahead to engage with EU representatives and ministers as they sought support on global stocktake, climate finance, international financial institution reform, renewables and hydrogen. The COP28 president-designate also outlined his expectations for COP28, emphasising its significance as the last opportunity to keep the 1.5-degree goal within reach. “We have seven years to make a 43 per cent reduction in global carbon emissions in order to keep 1.5C within reach. At the same time, we will see a dramatic increase in energy demand as the global population rises, “he pointed out. “The need for robust, sustainable growth while dramatically reducing emissions is the critical challenge of our century. A system-wide transformation of entire economies is required.” To achieve the energy transition, Dr Al-Jaber stressed the need to triple global renewable energy sources in both domestic and international arenas. He also highlighted his invitation to Parties to unite behind the world’s first Global Renewables Pledge while reiterating the call to action he made at OPEC last week to oil and gas producing countries and companies to align around net zero methane emissions by 2030 and net zero by or before 2050. He further urged EU Member States to take the necessary steps to expand renewable capacity such as “accelerating permitting for projects and related infrastructure, expanding power-grid connections, increasing investment in technologies like storage and increasing energy efficiencies.” “No one has all the answers, and there is no one-size-fits-all solution, but by working together, we can make history together. COP28 must be a COP of Action and a COP for All if we are to deliver the game-changing transformation that the world needs,” the president-designate told the delegation.