Pre-COP28 Plenary Roundtable: Building Global Solidarity: Operationalizing Loss and Damage Fund and Funding Arrangements

October 31, 2023 Honourable Minister Schuster, Minister of Natural Resources and Environment, Samoa Download PDF

Topic: Climate

Date: Tuesday, 31 October 2023
Session 3: Plenary Roundtable: Building Global Solidarity: Operationalizing Loss and Damage Fund and Funding Arrangements.

Guiding Questions
1. What do particularly vulnerable developing countries need to be able to address economic and non-economic losses and damages caused by the impacts of climate change? How can the L&D fund and funding arrangements address gaps in the current system and meet these needs?
2. What is the scale and appropriate financial instruments needed for the L&D fund and funding arrangements to contribute to broader challenges of addressing L&D?
3. How can the fund and funding arrangements be capitalized to deliver the urgent and immediate need for new, additional, predictable and adequate financial resources as agreed by all in Sharm El Sheikh and reflect global solidarity in raising financial resources and ensure sustainability?

Thank you, Minister.

• Loss and damage is an issue that was first raised and championed by SIDS and we are pleased to be working along with our allies on this critical matter for our survival.
• The IPCC findings indicate in very bold terms and with high confidence that we are now in a situation where adaptation is reaching its limits resulting, in loss and damage, which may be irreversible.
• AOSIS sees the ‘loss and damage fund’ as the missing element in the UNFCCC financial architecture.

Excellencies and colleagues,

• On matters related to the fund, firstly, allow me to thank countries and partners for their constructive engagement moving towards the operationalization of the fund. However, as is too often the case in this process, we have allowed ourselves to slip back into our well-worn political narratives, losing sight of the fact that we have been given an opportunity to chart a new path.
• This is, of course, bitterly disappointing for me as one who represents extremely vulnerable peoples and communities in countries that has been battered by significant climate-related impacts with the prospect of things getting worse, not better – bitterly disappointing because we have been counting on what can be a positive, proactive and problem-solving international process for our continued existence. I know that we can do better than this.
• I understand there are a number of flashpoints that we need to resolve and in the spirit of positivity and pragmatism, I expect the fund to be located within an institutional framework that allows us as Parties to call the shots. Access to the fund must be direct and the flow of finance for loss and damage based on national priorities and needs. The fund has to deliver on this.
• I challenge you to consider whether locating this Fund in the World Bank, an institution currently being pressured by the international community to reform on the basis of it not being fit-for-purpose.
• As developing countries, we can’t help but feel that the World Bank, as a host location is being pushed on us by our partners while noting that the Bank is saying ‘it is somewhat willing to host the Fund but only on its terms’.
• As such, AOSIS continues to call for the creation of both an independent board and a dedicated secretariat for the fund in a standalone institution with a work culture and bespoke, diverse staff that are fit-for-purpose for addressing the 21st century problem of addressing loss and damage associated with climate change, in a context-specific manner.
Excellencies and colleagues,

• It is of utmost importance that we deliver on this mandate at COP28 to ensure we as a global community serve the urgent needs of vulnerable countries in harm’s way, such as small island developing States. I can assure the incoming Presidency that we trust in his able leadership to deliver this outcome. My delegation and I on behalf of AOSIS remain at your disposal to deliver on this outcome which is critical to our long-term survival.
I thank you.

Sub Topic: Adaptation


Meeting: COP27