Cop28: highlights and lowlights so far

Cop28: highlights and lowlights so far

Cop28: highlights and lowlights so far. An update on the first half of the UN climate conference in Dubai, including shock over the host president’s comments.

A summary of some of the news from the first half of the Cop28 UN climate conference in Dubai, including a spectacular row about the host president’s remarks on the science of fossil fuels, negotiations around fossil fuel reduction commitments, and other successes and setbacks so far.

Loss and damage fund agreed – but the money doesn’t add up

In a historic move, a loss and damage fund was agreed at the opening plenary of the first day of the Cop28 summit – something the global south has been demanding for decades. The Guardian’s Nina Lakhani reported that it was a “hard-won victory by developing countries that they hoped would signal a commitment by the developed, polluting nations to finally provide financial support for some of the destruction already under way”.

Loss and damage refers to the destruction the climate crisis is already wreaking on lives, livelihoods and infrastructure. Vulnerable and poor countries, which did little to cause the climate crisis, want to hold the biggest fossil fuel polluting countries liable for the pain and suffering they are experiencing from climate breakdown.

But there is a huge caveat to the agreed deal, which already contained various compromises. The $700m (£557m) so far pledged by wealthy nations most responsible for the climate emergency covers less than 0.2% of what is needed every year. Estimates for the annual cost of the damage have varied from $100bn-$580bn.

The funds should be new and additional to existing commitments, and come as grants not loans, say climate justice experts. But in most cases, the nature and timing of the pledged money remains unclear as few countries have released further details.


Photograph: Kamran Jebreili/AP

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