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Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Solomon Islands Welcomes COP28 Agreement to Operate Loss and Damage Fund

The 28th Conference of the Parties of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP28) has made a landmark agreement after 30 years for the operationalization of the Loss and Damage Fund after it was established at COP27 in Egypt last year.

The agreement was reached soon after the opening plenary of the first day of COP28 in Dubai on Thursday. This agreement was seen as a relief to small island states that are campaigning for a loss and damage fund to help address the impacts of climate change.

Millions of dollars in pledges have been made by developed countries.

The United Arab Emirates and Germany pledged $100 million each, the United Kingdom with $50 million for the fund and $25 million for funding arrangements, the United States with $17.5 for the fund, $4.5 million for Pacific Resilience Facility and $2.5 million for the Santiago Network, Japan with $10 million while the European Union excluding Germany with around $145.6 million.

This brings the aggregate for the fund to reach $423.1 million and funding arrangements to $32 million with more to come in the summit.

Meanwhile the World Bank will play host to the fund requiring a minimum of $200 million to operationalize the fund where all developing countries could have access to it once it is fully operational.

Although not yet perfect, it is one of the important steps towards bringing justice to developing countries suffering from the impacts of climate change.

The Loss and Damage Fund and Solomon Islands

Solomon Islands is among other Small Island Developing States (SIDS) that have been campaigning for the establishment of this fund. The establishment of this fund could be one way that will help address the impacts of powerful cyclones and extreme weather conditions affecting the country. This could be damages to infrastructures and not to mention the repatriation of people in low lying communities affected by sea level rise.

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Deputy Head of the Solomon Islands Delegation to COP28 and Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Environment, Disaster Management, Climate Change and Meteorology, Dr. Melchior Mataki / Credit: SIBC.

Speaking to SIBC News after the plenary session, Deputy Head of the Solomon Islands Delegation to Dubai and Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Environment, Disaster Management, Climate Change and Meteorology, Dr. Melchior Mataki said the decision to have the fund in operation is a historical one for COP28 and Solomon Islands.

“Solomon Islands has taken the floor during the plenary session to welcome the decision," he said. “I would also like to acknowledge developed countries that have taken the first step to pledge their support towards the fund.”

He said such a level of cooperation is what the world needs from all countries to reduce global emissions.

Beside the loss and damage fund, Solomon Islands is pushing and negotiating for more climate change ambition at COP28.

This story was produced as part of the 2023 Climate Change Media Partnership, a journalism fellowship organized by Internews' Earth Journalism Network and the Stanley Center for Peace and Security. It was first published by Solomon Islands Broadcasting Corporation on 1 December 2023.

Banner image: His Excellency Dr. Sultan Al Jaber speaks at COP28 / Credit: Solomon Islands Broadcasting Company.