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Loss and Damage Fund is centre-stage at the UN COP28 Climate Summit

The most pressing issue for African leaders will be to ensure their interests are represented in the new fund to compensate countries for climate change

The shape of the new loss and damage fund is likely to dominate the agenda of African leaders as the COP28 climate change summit opens in Dubai on 30 November (AC Vol 64 No 22, Fight over control of loss and damage fund dominates pre-summit talks).

African countries and other developing nations have already made a number of painful compromises during the course of the lengthy consultation phase feeding into the recommendations made by the Transitional Committee on how the fund to compensate victims of climate change should work.

Still controversial is the question of who will pay into the fund and how. The United Arab Emirates, which is hosting COP28, is expected to announce a $10 billion contribution to the fund, which is likely to put pressure on the United States, European Union and others to make commitments of a similar scale. However, there is currently no agreement on how the fund will operate, or the process by which countries will pay into it.

The decision for the World Bank to host the fund for the four-year interim period is another compromise that has discomfited African leaders. However the agreement, despite the opposition of some wealthy states, that all developing countries that are 'particularly vulnerable' to the adverse effects of climate change are eligible is a successful outcome (AC Vol 64 No 18, Nairobi vies for green capital status).

'Africa is going with one document, one vision, and there is no longer any division between countries,' says Paul Tangem, coordinator of the African Union's Great Green Wall Initiative, in a reference to the declaration agreed by leaders at September's inaugural Africa Climate Summit in Nairobi, which will serve as a basis for Africa's common position in the global climate change process at COP28 and beyond.

But it's not that straightforward.

The Nairobi summit highlighted some of the divisions between fossil fuel producers and the likes of Kenya, Morocco and Ghana, which want to tap into carbon credit markets and obtain more funding for renewable energy projects (AC Vol 64 No 18, Who will fund the new fund?).

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