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Taking responsibility: Towards a fit-for-purpose Loss and Damage Fund

November 2023

Climate-related extreme and slow onset events are increasing every year in intensity and frequency, and the same countries that are the least responsible for climate change find themselves suffering the most devastating consequences. Developing countries do not have the financial means to respond to climate-related loss and damage, let alone to meet adaptation and mitigation objectives. The support available at the international level, whether through the humanitarian system or International Financial Institutions, is also far short of need.  

Recognized as the breakthrough outcome at the 27th Conference of the Parties (COP27) in Sharm El-Sheikh in November 2022, decisions 2/CP.27 and 2/CMA.4 on the operationalization of new funding arrangements for responding to loss and damage established a Transitional Committee (TC) to make recommendations on a new fund for consideration and adoption at COP28. The draft decision is available here.

The Transitional Committee’s recommendations on the operationalization of the new Loss and Damage Fund (LDF) will be considered for adoption at COP28 in the United Arab Emirates, as per decision 2/CP.27 and 2/CMA.4. The months ahead will be crucial in defining the success or failure of the LDF.  

This report reflects on several aspects of the TC’s mandate that have emerged in the course of its activities in 2023 and offers a series of recommendations that aim to enrich discussion on outcomes for COP28. It is structured around four chapters that are linked by a focus on tackling the systemic challenges that keep developing countries in crisis and out of climate-resilient development pathways.   

At COP28, Parties have the opportunity to address the glaring gap in loss and damage support and get it right. The time taken to ensure that institutional arrangements and resourcing are fit for purpose will be well worth the boost to trust, global stability and climate-resilient development. An LDF designed with these recommendations in place will reverberate beyond immediate beneficiaries, reinvigorating multilateralism in a moment of compounding global crises and demonstrating the collective priority of delivering the Paris Agreement and Sustainable Development Goals for a safe and secure future for all.