Nations pledge millions to new climate damage fund at COP28, US criticized for its small contribution

Delegates from across the globe attending the COP28 climate summit in Dubai have officially endorsed a long-awaited damage fund, marking a significant achievement on the inaugural day of discussions.

The fund aims to aid nations most severely impacted by the climate crisis, and several countries have pledged substantial amounts to support it. This milestone is expected to provide additional time for deliberations on the complex issues surrounding fossil fuel reduction.

However, the United States is facing criticism for its perceived inadequate financial contribution to the fund. The U.S. commitment falls below one-fifth of the United Arab Emirates’ donation and is 14 times less than that of the European Union.

Despite this, the fund’s approval represents a historic moment, marking the first time a decision has been adopted on the opening day of a COP event.

COP28 President Sultan Al Jaber expressed satisfaction with the achievement, emphasizing the significance of delivering history on day one of the summit. The motion sailed through without objection, culminating in a standing ovation from participants.

While unanimous support was garnered for the fund, there was initial opposition to entrusting its management to the World Bank due to its perceived strong ties to the United States. Agreement was eventually reached, contingent on the World Bank’s temporary oversight.

Following the fund’s formalization, several countries promptly pledged financial support. The host country, the United Arab Emirates, committed $100 million, with Germany and the UK also pledging $100 million and £60 million, respectively. The U.S. made a commitment of $17.5 million, and Japan contributed $10 million.

Despite widespread acclaim for the establishment of the fund, climate experts and advocacy groups underscore the need for affluent nations to promptly channel funds

‘Embarrassing’ US contribution

The United States has come under scrutiny for its contribution of $17.5 million to the damage fund endorsed at the COP28 climate summit in Dubai.

Critics argue that this amount is disproportionately small compared to pledges from other nations, with some describing it as “embarrassing” and “disappointing.” The United Arab Emirates committed $100 million, while Germany and the UK pledged $100 million and £60 million, respectively.

Experts and advocacy groups emphasize the inadequacy of these initial funding pledges in addressing the extensive needs related to climate impacts.

The US contribution is perceived as insufficient, considering the scale of the challenge, and critics stress the importance of further financial commitments to effectively tackle climate-related issues.

The US contribution, according to Mohamed Adow, director of Power Shift Africa, is far too small. “The initial funding pledges are clearly inadequate and will be a drop in the ocean compared to the scale of the need they are to address,” Adow said in a written statement.

“The amount announced by the US, in particular, is embarrassing for President Biden and (US climate envoy) John Kerry.” It just goes to show how this is only the beginning.”

According to Tom Evans, a policy adviser at the international climate think tank E3G, the US delegation to COP is under significant political pressure from domestic dynamics, with a Republican-controlled US House of Representatives.

Nonetheless, he stated that the size of the US contribution was “striking” in comparison to the far larger amounts from the United Arab Emirates and Germany.

US officials were clear that they were donating to a “climate impacts fund,” Evans said, adding that “they’re trying to avoid the funds being called loss and damage because of concerns about how Republicans in Congress would react.”

Evans noted that the US contribution is subject to congressional approval, adding that “we have seen in the past how difficult that is for the United States.”

Crediblenews would like to give credit to CNN for their comprehensive coverage of the report. The information and insights presented in this blog post are based on their informative news report.

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