The COP-28 summit is set to formally approve the launch of a ‘loss and damage’ fund to compensate climate-vulnerable countries as world leaders gather in Dubai.
Prime Minister Rishi Sunak will be among those arriving by private jet in the oil-rich UAE for the latest climate gathering.
Among the issues to be negotiated will be a commitment by rich countries to provide billions of pounds to poorer nations to help them adapt to climate change.
The establishment of a global ‘loss and damage’ fund was agreed at the previous COP-27 in Egypt following hard-fought negotiations.
But there could yet be a row over how it is funded – with pressure being piled on big polluter China and wealthy petrostates in the Gulf to stump up cash.
The US has also been keen to stress that pledging money to the fund should not represent a legal liability for climate issues by developed nations.
The COP-28 summit is set to formally approve the launch of a ‘loss and damage’ fund to compensate climate-vulnerable countries as world leaders gather in Dubai
Prime Minister Rishi Sunak will be among those arriving by private jet in the oil-rich UAE for the latest climate gathering
A coal-fired power plant is pictured in northern China’s Hebei province. Pressure is being piled on China and wealthy petrostates in the Gulf to stump up cash for a ‘loss and damage’ fund
Mr Sunak – who recently watered down some of Britain’s Net Zero commitments – is expected to join both the US and EU in pledging money to the loss and damage fund during his visit to Dubai.
The money will likely come from the £11.6 billion the Government has set aside in its ‘International Climate Finance’ pot for spending between 2021 and 2026.
The EU has pledged a ‘substantial’ contribution, but wants countries whose economies have boomed in recent decades, like China and the UAE, to follow suit.
‘Everyone with the ability to pay should contribute,’ said the EU’s climate commissioner Wopke Hoekstra.
He added he wanted to ‘broaden the donor base beyond the usual suspects, simply because that reflects the reality of 2023.’
Adnan Amin, CEO of COP-28, said the aim of the summit was to secure several hundred million dollars for the fund, adding he was ‘hopeful’ the UAE would make a contribution.
Samoa’s ambassador to Europe, Pa’olelei Luteru, who is also the chairman of the Association of Small Island States (AOSIS) negotiating bloc, said: ‘We cannot rest until this fund is adequately financed and starts to actually alleviate the burden of vulnerable communities.’
John Kerry, America’s climate envoy, said US President Joe Biden’s administration had ‘actively worked very hard’ to create the fund.
On a call with journalists this week, as reported by Politico, Mr Kerry said: ‘We think this fund — the way it’s designed — will meet the needs of vulnerable countries.
‘We’ve worked hard with our partners to propose ways in which this fund can be stood up quickly but confidently.’
He also emphasised the White House view that the US cannot be held legally responsible for climate issues, following previous claims that such a fund would represent ‘reparations’ from historic polluters to developing nations.
‘It’s important the fund does not represent any expression of liability or compensation or any sort of new legal requirements,’ Mr Kerry added.
‘But it is going to try to be there for those in the developing world who have taken some of the brunt.’
Mr Sunak, King Charles and Lord Cameron are flying separately to Dubai on private jets to attend COP-28.
No10 yesterday defended the decision for the Prime Minister and the Foreign Secretary to fly separately – and said that lower ranking ministers and officials would fly out on commercial flights.
The PM’s official spokesman said that Lord Cameron ‘has different travel plans, which is not unusual for a Foreign Secretary’, adding: ‘The Government’s approach to tackling climate change, as we have set out repeatedly, is not about banning or reducing people from flying.
‘It is through investing in new technologies of the future as evidence by the flight just yesterday using sustainable aviation fuel.
‘You can expect most ministers flying to COP mto fly commercially, the PM’s plane will use sustainable aviation fuel… and obviously we are using carbon offsetting.’
But Liberal Democrat climate spokeswoman Wera Hobhouse said: ‘Sunak and Cameron travelling to this vital summit in separate jets is not just a waste of taxpayers’ cash, it sends all the wrong signals about the UK’s climate commitments,
‘The UK should be playing a leading role at COP28 and driving our planet forward to a cleaner future.
‘Instead, this Government is slashing net zero targets at home while taking polluting private flights abroad.’