As the sun sets on a year that saw multiple climate records broken, the UN has reached an agreement on a landmark Loss & Damage Fund at COP 28.

Proposed by host nation the UAE and seconded by Germany, the milestone agreement reached on day one of COP 28, saw nearly 300 million dollars pledged to offset the damage done by the continued rise in catastrophic meteorological events across the globe.

Yet, while a standing ovation greeted the announcement that a deal had been agreed, that same deal ended with much of the finer detail still to be thrashed out. So what next for COP 28?

This financial aid package agreed on the opening day of COP 28 will come as welcome news to the many nations adversely impacted by climate change. However, some controversy has arisen as some of the larger donors, including host nation UAE, are still trading in fossil-fuel based energy and manufacturing production and are profiting off of  Oil-rich UAE, one of the key proponents of climate finance, is also one of the biggest contributors to climate change.

COP 28 Climate Finance

Eradicating fossil-fuels will “send the world back into caves”

Additional controversy has occurred already, in conversation between UN Elder Mary Robinson and COP President Sultan Al Jaber, which took place just a few days before the summit opened. Sultan Al Jaber is also the head of ADNOC, the world’s largest oil company. He told the former Irish President that he believed in science, and there was no science which said that if fossil fuels were eradicated global warming would be kept to below 1.5 degrees. He is then said to have asked Mary Robinson to show him “the roadmap of socio economic development” while continuing to get rid of fossil-fuels without sending the “world back into caves”.

What is the Loss and Damage Fund agreed at COP 28?

In a first for annual climate summit, the opening day of COP 28 saw the leaders of a number of key players come together to reach agreement on a new climate finance package. The Loss and Damage Fund will see paid into by wealthier nations who are significant contributors of climate change, and will help support those nations most impacted by climate change.

The UAE and Germany have pledged $100 million to the start-up fund, with the remainder coming from the likes of China, the UK, US and Japan as well as other Middle-Eastern states. The EU has also pledged a contribution of $246 millions from bloc members, the UK pledged $40 million, and the US has contributed $17.5 million. The fund will be distributed out between poorer countries to compensate them for losses suffered due to floods, storms, earthquakes etc. brought on by climate change.

“We have determined a way forward on a decades-long conversation on funding for loss and damage – deliberating over how we address the impacts on communities whose lives and livelihoods have been ruined by the very worst impacts of climate change”
Simon Stiell
UN Climate Change Exec Secretary

What has happened at COP 28 so far?

UN Secretary-General António Guterres opened COP 28 with an impassioned speech detailing “the symptoms of the global sickness bringing out climate to its knees.”

“Earth’s vital signs are fading,” he declared, “but it is not too late. We can prevent planetary crash and burn … if we act now.” He stressed that what the world needs now is leadership and political will to flip the climate switch. “Renewable energy is the gift that keeps on giving,” he said, “the success of the COP depends on (action in three areas) – drastically cutting emissions, accelerating the transition away from fossil fuels to renewables and financing developing countries impacted by the devastation caused by the climate crisis.”

“The science is clear, the 1.5 degree limit is only possible is we ultimately stop burning fossil fuels.” – UN Secretary-General António Guterres

The Secretary General’s comments were made during his opening speech to COP 28 attendees on Thursday 30th. The details of Dr. Al Jaber’s heated exchange with Mary Robinson came to light on Sunday 3rd December. What direction the fossil fuel debate will take over over the course of the coming days remains to be seen.

Ireland has made huge strides forward in areas like public transport, electric/hybrid motoring, residential retrofitting, sustainable energy, and recycling infrastructure. Many Irish businesses have already implemented standards-based management systems such as ISO-14001 Environmental and ISO 50001 Energy, there is still plenty of opportunity to improve resource management, waste production and energy consumption. Carbon footprints in line with the GHG Protocol and ISO 14064- are becoming more popular and are useful tools to Irish businesses to understanding their impacts.

Business Sustainability

Do you have a sustainable business?

Three years ago, CG Business Consulting opened Ireland’s first dedicated ISO-driven Sustainability Division. Since then, we have seen a steady rise in the number of Irish businesses looking to become wholly sustainable. We have partnered with scores of Irish companies on their journey to a sustainable business future.

Our Director of Sustainability, Sarah Kent, a highly experienced Environmental Programme Advisor and Energy Consultant, has been advising businesses on energy efficiency, carbon management and environmental impact optimisation for over a decade. In the last three years alone, Sarah has collaborated with several CGBC clients to reduce their carbon footprint, improve energy efficiencies and develop robust, future-facing sustainable strategies.

If your company is struggling with resource, energy or environmental management, wants to reduce energy costs, slash its carbon footprint or develop system-led sustainable best practices, why not get in touch, or call us on 01 620 4121.

To find out more about our Sustainability Services or how we can help your team meet CSRD compliance, click HERE.

COP 28

COP 28

COP 28 runs from 30th November to 12th December 2023.

Follow the link for official United Nations Updates –

Follow here for official updates from the Irish Government

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