Commitments worth $450 million for Loss & Damage fund

COP28 started with a positive note as the member countries agreed to make a Loss and Damage (L&D) fund which was first announced at the conclusion of COP-27 in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt, last year. The fund will be based at the World Bank for a period of four years and will be managed by an independent secretariat, commitments worth atleast $450 million have already been made by countries yesterday. As of Thursday, financial commitments have been made by the United Arab Emirates $100 million, Germany $100 million; the United States $17 million, the United Kingdom $50 million, and Japan $10 million as part of the L&D. The European Union also committed to $145 million, over and above the German contribution. The fund is expected to operate in accordance with the principles of the UNFCCC and the Paris Agreement. All developing countries are eligible to apply for and every country has been invited to contribute to the fund.

Guterres urges for phasing out of fossil fuel

UN Secretary General António Guterres said urgent action was needed to keep global temperature rise below 1.5 degrees Celsius and this requires a complete phase-out of fossil fuels, not just reductions or abatements. “Not reduce. Not abate. Phase out.” Secretary-General Guterres urged fossil fuel executives to utilize their record profits to significantly increase their investments in renewable energy, leveraging their resources to lead the transition to a clean energy future.

India Pledges to Step Up Renewable Energy Efforts at COP28

India’s Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, pledged to redouble efforts to shift the world’s most populous country away from fossil fuels and accelerate the development of renewable energy. “The entire world is watching us,” he said at the United Nations climate conference in Dubai. “Mother Earth is looking toward us to protect her future. We have to succeed.” India has rapidly built out wind and solar power in recent years, installing over 175 GW of renewable energy capacity. However, India is still building new coal plants and derives the vast majority of its power from fossil fuels. In fact, in 2021, India’s subsidies for fossil fuels were nine times the size of clean energy subsidies.

Climate experts remain skeptical of India’s ability to meet its ambitious renewable energy goals given its continued reliance on fossil fuels. However, Modi’s pledge at COP28 suggests that India may be finally taking the climate crisis seriously. Only time will tell if India can successfully transition to a clean energy future.

Vice President Harris to Take Lead at COP28 in Last-Minute Shift

Vice President Kamala Harris will step up to address the United Nations climate summit in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, this Saturday, filling in for President Biden in a last-minute change of plans.

Harris is expected to highlight the significant climate legislation signed by Biden last year, a $370 billion investment in clean energy development across the United States. Additionally, she will announce new initiatives aimed at tackling rising emissions and supporting countries in building resilience against climate change, according to officials.