March 1, 2024

Lukmaan IAS

A Blog for IAS Examination

LOSS AND DAMAGE FUND

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TAG: GS 3: ECOLOGY AND ENVIRONMENT

THE CONTEXT: Recently, the COP28 climate conference in Dubai marked the official launch of a significant loss and damage fund aimed at assisting developing nations vulnerable to the adverse effects of climate change.

EXPLANATION:

  • While an initial funding of $475 million has been allocated, the broader financial requirements, estimated to be in the trillions, remain a critical concern.

SIGNIFICANCE OF THE LOSS AND DAMAGE FUND:

  • Purpose:
    • The fund is intended to aid vulnerable countries coping with the consequences of climate change, addressing issues like rising sea levels, floods, droughts, and cyclones.
  • Financial Need:
    • Economists highlight the urgent requirement for trillions of dollars to effectively address the challenges posed by climate change.
  • Launch:
    • The fund was officially announced during COP27 but saw resolution and agreement on key aspects only shortly before COP28.
  • Contributions:
    • The UAE pledged $100 million, the European Union committed $275 million, the US offered $17.5 million, and Japan contributed $10 million towards the initial funding.

UNDERSTANDING THE LOSS AND DAMAGE FUND:

  • Global Financial Package:
    • Designed to support countries facing the impacts of climate change by providing compensation from wealthier nations responsible for higher emissions.
  • Definition Complexity:
    • Different interpretations of “loss and damage” exist; there’s no universally agreed definition within the UNFCCC, categorized broadly as economic and non-economic impacts.

IMPACTS OF INDUSTRIALIZATION ON CLIMATE CHANGE:

  • Historical Context:
    • The Industrial Era since 1850 disrupted natural greenhouse gas mechanisms, with the US, UK, EU, and a few others contributing significantly to global emissions.
  • Responsibility for Emissions:
    • Developed countries account for a significant portion of historical emissions, with India responsible for a small percentage, while China is the world’s largest emitter in recent years.

EXTENT OF LOSS AND DAMAGE:

  • Financial Impact:
    • Vulnerable countries have collectively faced $525 billion in climate crisis-related losses over 20 years, projected to rise to $580 billion annually by 2030.
  • Impact on Vulnerable Communities:
    • Global warming has profoundly affected vulnerable communities, with projections indicating worsening conditions, especially in developing nations.

OPERATION AND SIZE OF THE FUND:

  • Fund Management:
    • Initially overseen by the World Bank, funded by wealthier nations and some developing countries, though the scale and replenishment cycle remain uncertain.
  • Concerns and Acceptance:
    • Developing nations initially hesitated to involve the World Bank, fearing greater control by richer nations, but have since acquiesced to this arrangement.

CONCLUSION:

  • The establishment of the loss and damage fund at COP28 represents a crucial step towards assisting vulnerable nations affected by climate change.
  • However, the disparity between the initial funding and the colossal financial requirement underscores the monumental challenge ahead in effectively mitigating and addressing the consequences of climate change globally.

SOURCE: https://indianexpress.com/article/explained/explained-climate/loss-and-damage-fund-approved-cop-28-9049082/

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