Caretaker Prime Minister Anwaarul Haq Kakar on Thursday stressed on the need to immediately operationalize the Loss and Damage Fund and ensure its utilization on merit, as he attended the COP28 summit in Dubai.
On the first day of the 28th U.N. climate summit, delegates adopted the new Fund to help the developing world bear the cost of climate-driven damages to a standing ovation from those in attendance. The Fund has been a key demand of developing nations for decades, with calls for its immediate establishment gaining momentum during last year’s COP summit in Egypt, which came after devastating floods in Pakistan exposed the real threat posed by climate change.
Following the adoption of the Fund, the U.A.E.—host of the COP28 summit—pledged $100 million for it; Britain pledged $51 million; the U.S. pledged $17.5 million; and Japan pledged $10 million. Additionally, the European Union pledged $245.39 million, including $100 from Germany. Hailing the decision, U.N. chief Antonio Guterres called it an “essential tool” for delivering “climate justice” to most vulnerable communities. However, concerns persist over how the Fund would be financed in a sustainable manner.
In his interview with CNN on the sidelines of the summit, Kakar said the utilization of the Fund should not be linked to development funds and loans from multilateral financial entities, emphasizing it should be additional and tangible. Explaining that Pakistan was currently focusing on shifting to renewables to minimize emissions, he said this was an “opportunity” for developed countries as well as the developing world.
Noting that climate change was no longer a mere possibility, he recalled the impact of last year’s floods on Pakistan, stressing the country had suffered historical devastation despite its minimal emissions. “Everyone knows who has been contributing in the last century so it is more of a question of an honest conversation rather than passing judgment on countries and economies,” he said, calling on wealthy nations to behave responsibly.
As the COP28 summit proceeds, discussions are expected to focus on striving to phase out the world’s use of CO2-emitting coal, oil and gas, the main source of warming emissions, and shift to renewables like solar, wind and hydroelectric. Key to the negotiations is mounting evidence of the world rapidly approaching the “point of no return” wherein global temperature gains are no longer reversible, leading to a rise in sea levels and devastation for coastal communities.