PH, crisis-prone nations score with operationalization of damage fund

December 1, 2023, 9:49 pm

<p>Al Wasl Dome at Expo City in Dubai, United Arab Emirates <em>(Photo courtesy of COP28/Neville Hopwood)</em></p>

Al Wasl Dome at Expo City in Dubai, United Arab Emirates (Photo courtesy of COP28/Neville Hopwood)

MANILA – Climate change-vulnerable countries, including the Philippines, scored a win after the consensus decision of Parties to the Convention participating at the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) 28th Conference of the Parties (COP28) to operationalize a fund that would compensate for loss and damage.

United Arab Emirates' Sultan al-Jaber, president of the ongoing COP28 climate conference in Dubai, committed USD100 million to the fund; Germany pledged a similar amount; and the United States and Japan also announced contributions, according to the event's website.

“Today’s news on loss and damage gives this UN climate conference a running start. All governments and negotiators must use this momentum to deliver ambitious outcomes here in Dubai,” UN climate chief Simon Stiell said during a press conference Thursday.

Senate President Pro Tempore Loren Legarda lauded the "significant agreement."

"This is a welcome development of a decades-long battle on loss and damage as we continue our call for climate justice and demand the developed countries to deliver on their commitments in the Paris Agreement,” Legarda said in a news release on Friday.

She said the Philippines is a highly vulnerable country due to its geographical location.

Averting, minimizing, and addressing loss and damage associated with climate change requires the most urgent action, she added.

Legarda said the country’s limited resources spent on recovery and rehabilitation after disasters do not afford enough space to meet development needs.

For a country that has minimal contribution to global greenhouse gas emissions, loss, and damage, it becomes an issue of climate justice, she said.

She stressed that there must be clarity and a new roadmap to deliver on this promise and for new commitments, including the loss and damage fund and the doubling of adaptation finance.

“Our stand is that developed countries most responsible for climate change must do more for countries least responsible. To pursue climate justice is to exact accountability from the most responsible for climate crisis based on the developed countries' historical responsibility for emissions. While it is the responsibility of developed countries to address loss and damage, it is also their responsibility to help prevent loss and damage,” Legarda said.

The loss and damage deal was first officially included during last year's COP27 following two weeks of negotiations in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt.

“I am aware our Philippine delegation has been working hard on putting the loss and damage agenda on the table since last year’s Conference and pushing towards the establishment of the Fund in the ongoing negotiations with G77, the COP28 Presidency of the United Arab Emirates, and other stakeholders,” Legarda added.

Legarda will deliver her message on Saturday during a high-level dialogue to discuss the Philippines’ National Adaptation Plan and Nationally Determined Contribution Implementation Plan. (PR/PNA)