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Concern’s response to COP28 – a mix of cautious welcome and deep frustration
Concern Worldwide has cautiously welcomed elements of the COP28 agreement announced today, while also expressing frustration at the lack of urgency and fairness shown by global leaders in responding to the needs of some of the world’s low income countries which are currently hardest hit by climate change.
Concern Worldwide welcomes the Loss and Damage fund which was announced at the start of COP28, but will monitor it progress closely over the coming months.
“Contributions to the fund are voluntary and the $792 million announced to date represents just 0.2% of the estimated $400 billion bill for loss and damage globally,” Concern’s Advocacy Manager Sally Tyldesley said. “We need to see high income countries deliver new funding for Loss and Damage, rather than move money around. This can’t just be an accounting exercise.”
Low income countries severely impacted by climate change will be watching closely to see how this fund will operate, according to Afsari Begum, Concern Bangladesh Programme Manager, who attended COP28.
“We are concerned that it will managed by the World Bank and we want to ensure that funds are provided as grants, not loans,” she said. “We are also waiting to see details of how the funds will be accessed and what selection criteria will be used.”
Concern Worldwide noted that today’s COP28 statement acknowledged the large and widening gap between what was needed for climate adaptation and what had been committed by countries. COP28 reiterated the call for high income countries to at least double their adaptation finance commitments from 2019 levels by 2025. It also urged high income countries and other funders to mobilise support for low income countries.
“Given the scale of devastation currently being caused by climate change in many low income countries, the level of commitment by high income countries for climate adaptation finance will be crucial,” Ms Tyldesley said. “The focus of next year’s negotiations will be on agreeing a new collective climate finance goal – we need to see this adequately address the gap in adaptation funding. This will be critical for the people that Concern works with, who are already dealing with the impacts of climate change.”
Concern Worldwide welcomes that COP28 agreed to transition away from fossil fuels in its final text for the first time. However, it does not include sufficient recognition that high income countries should be moving first and faster, or the need to provide funding to help low income countries transition.
“While there are some positive developments at COP28, we are deeply frustrated by the lack of urgency displayed by decision makers, given the existential threat which climate change poses today to many communities in low income countries,” Concern Worldwide Chief Executive David Regan said. . “We know that if there is enough political will, then money can be found. If the same recurrent droughts and floods were occurring in high income countries, the necessary funding and actions would be agreed promptly.”
For media queries contact Eamon Timmins, Media Relations Manager, Concern Worldwide at firstname.lastname@example.org or 087 9880524 or Kevin Jenkinson, Media Relations Officer, Concern Worldwide at email@example.com 086 3582886
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