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Key Takeaways from UN Climate Change Conference (COP 28)

The 28th Session of the UN Climate Change Conference (COP 28), which took place in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, from November 30, 2023, to December 13, 2023, was attended by an inter-ministerial delegation from India.

Every year, the United Nations Climate Change Conferences (or COPs) are held. They are the world’s sole multilateral decision-making platform on climate change, with nearly every country in the world represented.

Simply said, the COP is where the world gets together to agree on methods to address the climate catastrophe, such as limiting global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius, assisting vulnerable populations in adapting to climate change consequences, and attaining net-zero emissions by 2050.

More than 70,000 participants, including members of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), are anticipated to attend COP28. Participants include business executives, young people, climate scientists, indigenous peoples, journalists, and a variety of other specialists and stakeholders.

The key conclusion of COP 28 was the decision on the First Global Stocktake conclusion, which increased global climate ambition before the end of the decade.

These worldwide efforts will be undertaken by countries on a country-by-country basis, taking into consideration the Paris Agreement and their respective national situations.

Another significant achievement of COP 28 is the agreement on the operationalization and financing arrangements for the Loss and Damage Fund.

The decision on Loss and Damage Fund adopted at COP 28 approved the Governing instrument of the Loss and Damage Fund and decided that the Fund will be serviced by new, dedicated and independent secretariat. It was also decided that the Fund will be supervised and governed by the Board. The Fund is accountable to and functions under the guidance of the Conference of Parties serving as the meeting of the Parties to the Paris Agreement (CMA).

Since the decision, an amount of around USD 700 million to date has been pledged by several countries, including United Arab Emirates, Germany, United Kingdom, European Union, Japan.

The purpose of the Fund is to assist developing countries that are particularly vulnerable to the adverse effects of climate change in responding to economic and non-economic loss and damage associated with the adverse effects of climate change, including extreme weather events and slow onset events. The detailed decision text on Loss and Damage Fund adopted at COP 28 can be accessed at webpage https://unfccc.int/documents/636558.

Another major outcome related to Loss and Damage is the decision on Santiago network for averting, minimizing and addressing loss and damage to catalyse the technical assistance of relevant organizations, bodies, networks and experts for the implementation of relevant approaches associated with climate change impacts.

The host of the Secretariat for the Santiago Network was finalized at COP 28. The joint consortium of the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction and the United Nations Office for Project Services have been selected as the host of the Santiago network secretariat for an initial term of five years, with five-year renewal periods.

Countries including Canada, Japan, Spain, Switzerland and the United States of America have announced their financial contributions to the work of the Santiago network.

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