COP28 President Dr Sultan bin Ahmed Al Jaber and Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology ahas called for greater efforts to tackle adaptation finance gaps and prioritise actions to make climate finance more accessible to vulnerable nations.
His remarks came during the third Climate and Development Ministerial, which was convened at Pre-COP, and co-hosted by the United Kingdom, Vanuatu and Malawi.
“People and the planet lie at the heart of the climate process- which is focused on protecting lives, livelihoods and nature,” Dr Sultan said.
Addressing delegates, Dr Sultan said, “To guarantee an inclusive and equitable transition to low-carbon and resilient growth, the voices of emerging and developing countries must not go unheard. COP28 must leverage an adequate response to the Global Stocktake and set out a pathway to fill the financing gaps and address shortcomings in the global climate finance architecture.”
Co-hosts the United Kingdom stressed the need to support the most vulnerable. Graham Stuart, UK Minister of State for Energy Security and Net Zero, said, “The UK is determined to deliver on its ambitious climate commitments while supporting those most at risk from the impacts of climate change – represented by our US$2 billion contribution to the Green Climate Fund earlier this year.
“These pre-COP discussions are key to shaping the agenda for COP28. Together with our international partners, we will delve into the challenges and opportunities involved in our mission to reduce CO2 and help the most vulnerable countries adapt to climate change. We’ll hear different perspectives on the global effort to keep 1.5°C within reach and encourage every nation to join the UK on a pathway to net zero.”
The importance of the Ministerial was highlighted by the Vanuatu Minister of Climate Change Adaptation, Energy, Environment, Meteorology, Geohazards and Disasters Management, Ralph Regenvanu. He said, “As we gather today, the people of Vanuatu are right now facing a landscape destroyed by Cyclone Lola that hit just days ago. Climate impacts are growing daily in the Pacific Islands as the cause of the crisis continues unabated.”
“Adaptation and resilience initiatives are a last line of defence, literally saving lives in Vanuatu, by minimising the impacts of the worsening climate crisis. Yet, Small Island Developing States struggle to access the funding we need to support the adaptation plans and programs that are so desperately required in our island communities. We stand side-by-side with our co-hosts to ensure the 2023 Climate and Development Ministerial delivers real change. We call on all countries and institutes to bring transformative ambition to this process.”
This view was backed up by the Malawi Minister for Natural Resources and Climate Change, Dr Michael Usi. He said, “Least Developed Countries are among the world’s most vulnerable countries to the impacts of climate change, yet have done the least to contribute to the problem.”
“For years we have been calling for improved access and delivery of Climate finance, and more at the local level. This will enable local communities and countries to adapt to climate change and build resilience. We are proud to co-host the Climate and Development Ministerial process this year to drive forward the transformational shift we need in the delivery of the climate finance.”
At the Ministerial – which was started in 2021 to unite and lend support to climate vulnerable countries – Dr Al Jaber emphasised that dealing with adaptation finance is a fundamental aspect of climate finance reform. Finance, he said, needs to be affordable, available and accessible. It is also one of the four pillars of the COP28 Presidency’s Action Agenda, alongside fast tracking the energy transition, nature, lives and livelihood, and inclusivity.
The COP28 Presidency is actively supporting several initiatives and actions, which include:
• The urgent delivery of the long-overdue US$100 billion annual funding commitment by developed countries to help developing countries;
• Substantial replenishment of the Green Climate Fund, emphasising a balance between mitigation and adaptation;
• New adaptation finance pledges towards doubling adaptation finance by 2025;
• Successful replenishment of the Adaptation Fund, the only dedicated multilateral fund for adaptation; and
• Timely operationalisation of the Loss and Damage Fund, a crucial element in the discussion on adaptation.
• The UAE will also host the Adaptation Fund Contributor Dialogue during the first week of COP28. The Contributor Dialogue will be a pledging conference to support vulnerable nations in the fight against climate change.
Dr Al Jaber said the COP28 Presidency is also working on improving conditions for the most vulnerable countries by reallocating and channelling Special Drawing Rights (SDRs), a financial instrument allocated by the International Monetary Fund (IMF), to the Resilience and Sustainability Trust to address debt sustainability and create fiscal space for resilience investment.
He also highlighted the efforts made by the UAE, including the recent pledge of US$4.5 billion to support clean energy initiatives at the Africa Climate Summit, with the aim of promoting green growth on the continent.
“We are working on all fronts. But we do not have all the answers and there is much to be done,” he said.
He commended the countries and institutions nominated to co-lead the delivery of the Vision and Actions for Adaptation Finance, considering it an important milestone ahead of COP28 to prioritise the countries most vulnerable to the impact of climate change.
The UAE co-chaired this year’s Ministerial in partnership with the United Kingdom, Malawi, and Vanuatu, held during Pre-COP events in Abu Dhabi. This marks the third consecutive Climate and Development Ministerial co-chaired with climate-vulnerable countries since its inception at COP26 in 2021.
The aim is to ensure that the concerns of the most climate-vulnerable nations are heard by convening countries, financial institutions, and civil society so that the challenges and priorities of these communities may be thoroughly discussed and considered by the parties.
This year’s event focused on enhancing the efficiency and effectiveness of adaptation finance.
The Ministerial was an important milestone ahead of COP28 to ensure that those countries that are most vulnerable to the impacts of climate change are at the forefront of the transition to a new climate economy.
This story was originally published at Emirates News Agency on 29 October 2023, reposted via PACNEWS.