DUBAI – Uganda has been listed among the first seven developing countries that will benefit from the $400 million loss and damage fund established to help victims of climate disaster.
The fund to help world’s poorest and most vulnerable countries hit by climate disaster is the first decision agreed on as Cop28 UN summit opened in Dubai
Host country UAE and Germany both pledged $100m (£79m) to the fund, which will aim to keep up with the rising costs caused by extreme weather and slow-onset disasters such as sea level rise, ocean acidification and melting glaciers.
WWF Uganda Country Director, Mr. Ivan Tumuhimbise hailed the decision as historic and timely, saying that Uganda is more than ready to take advantage of the opportunity.
“The fund will help Uganda to fulfill its pledge on reaching, the targets which were made by the global biodiversity framework. It about halting nature loss but also driving nature positive development,” Mr. Tumuhimbise who led Ugandan delegation to Dubai said while reacting to the fund.
For Uganda to benefit from the fund, he said communities will need to adopt regenerative agriculture for it to make business sense.
He said the governance framework including its decentralization arrangement makes country ready for the fund.
“The district leadership together with the national government can work together to make sure the level of preparedness is deepened. When I look at examples like Parish Development Model, I feel like the preparedness that has been used to in delivering some of government programmes I see we have the infrastructure that can quickly turn around this project and deliver benefits for our people,” he added.
All developing countries “particularly vulnerable” to the effects of climate change will be eligible to benefit from the mechanism. However, the definition of vulnerability – one of the thorniest issues – is not detailed in the text.
The agreement is an “early win” for the Cop28 hosts, as it sets the start of the conference on a positive collaborative tone, environmentalists said of the conference.
Speaking at the plenary session, several negotiators underlined the difficult compromises needed to strike a deal.
Developing countries had initially opposed a role for the World Bank, airing concerns over high costs, slow procedures and the US influence on the institution. But they eventually relented and accepted a compromise, with certain conditions attached to World Bank involvement and an out after four years.
Rich nations attempted to broaden the pool of donors expected to contribute, but made limited headway. The text “urges” developed countries to provide financial resources to the fund, while other nations are only “encouraged” to do so “on a voluntary basis”.
In the lead up to the conference, WWF Uganda has asked negotiators from developing countries to strengthen the implementation of the new and updated Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs).
In its position paper, WWF Uganda has also called for more commitments by different parties towards measures and interventions to mitigate climate change.
Mr. Tumuhimbise demanded that tangible commitments should be made on the urgent need to enhance NDCs for increasing the ambition for emissions reduction goals for 2030 and new ones for 2035, through the Global Stock take and the Work Programme on pre-2030 mitigation ambition and implementation.
“Parties should state upfront the need for enhancing institutional capacity as a critical enabling condition and create a forum to share lessons and identify resources for enhancing institutional capacity,” Mr. Tumuhimbise said, calling on negotiators to be vocal in their demanded for the implementation of the new and updated NDCS.
The cost of loss and damage for developing countries is projected to reach $400 billion per year by 2030.