DUBAI – The opening day of COP28 turned into a landmark decision as developed countries pledged millions of dollars to the Loss and Damage Fund (L&D) but analysts are positively wary if Malaysia can access the funds.
Muhammad Shaqib Shahrilnizam, former Climate Finance Youth Focal Point to the United Nations Framework Convention for Climate Change, said it was a huge achievement under the COP presidency to pass the L&D on the first day but remains sceptical if Malaysia could access it moving forward.
“Malaysia is supposed to be listed among the L&D countries since our society and economy have been heavily affected by floods in recent years but I am not sure if any of the dealings involved an agenda backing fossil fuels but this is a remarkable political will and this is what we need,” he said.
Climate consultant Muaz Mohd told Sinar Daily that there were still questions to be answered about the management of the funds pledged yesterday but lauded the United Arab Emirates for committing USD 100 million.
“This shows climate leadership and it will force developed countries to contribute to the fund,” the consultant from Boston Consulting Group said.
However, in terms of pledges made by the United States, the funds will still be subjected to approval by Congress.
On Saturday, over USD 456 million was pledged to the L&D funds by developed nations on top of the Pacific Resilience Fund and the Santiago Network.
Germany and UAE have pledged USD 100 million while the United Kingdom announced their pledge of GBP60 million.
The United States and Japan pledged USD17.5 million and USD10 million respectively.
The L&D funds refer to the financial resources that are dedicated to addressing impacts of climate change that are beyond mitigation and adaptation.
Under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), the fund directly refers to the residual impacts that cannot be avoided or minimised through adaptation and this includes severe weather events, rising sea levels and other adverse effects of climate change which has and will result in economic and non-economic losses.
The fund is aimed to assist vulnerable countries and communities in recovering from, coping and adapting to the consequences of the climate emergency.
Malaysia has over the years experienced climate-related disasters which have gradually gotten more severe due to climate change.
The L&D fund was one of the landmark decisions made in COP27 and will continue to be the main agenda for Malaysia at COP28.
Shaqib explained that while he was quite upset about the Transitional Committee outcome, there was hope ahead.
“I’m happy to see the L&D can be operationalised based on the decision made on the first day because this is a huge achievement under this COP presidency led by Dr Sultan AL Jaber because we expected this to be done at the end of the summit but pleasantly surprised it was passed on the opening day.”
Muaz lauded the United Arab Emirates government for showing their dedication and commitment to climate change.
“Kudos to the UAE for getting the fund agreed to this early on,” he added.