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‘Vulnerable’ Pacific countries must get maximum benefit from ‘loss and damage’ fund, Australian climate minister says
(The Guardian, 21 Nov 2023) Chris Bowen also says climate disaster fund will need to be bankrolled by broader-than-expected range of countries in speech ahead of Cop28.
Australia’s climate minister Chris Bowen says Pacific nations and other countries vulnerable to climate catastrophe should be the major beneficiaries from “loss and damage” funding, and a broader range of countries should bankroll the international effort along with the private sector.
Bowen used a speech to a foreign policy thinktank on Tuesday night to signal Australia’s position ahead of Cop28, the looming United Nations-led climate talks, which get underway in the United Arab Emirates later this month.
On the eve of the summit the UN has warned the world is on track for a “hellish” 3C of global heating. Given intensifying heatwaves, floods and droughts have taken lives and caused substantial economic damage around the world the Cop27 summit in Egypt in November 2022 agreed to establish a “loss and damage” fund to help vulnerable countries rebuild social and physical infrastructure after extreme weather events exacerbated by greenhouse gas emissions.
But the details of the fund are not yet agreed.
Bowen told the Lowy Institute that Australia supported loss and damage funding – a concept that has been contentious for a number of decades. The government had already “contributed constructively to the design of the new fund and future funding arrangements” in the run-up to Cop28.
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