Guests enter the convention centre hosting the Cop27 U.N. Climate Summit. [AP photo]

The loss and damage fund will be operational by the end of 2023, according to Chief Climate Negotiator of COP27, Ambassador Mohamed Nasir.

However, Nasir observed that creating new funds and changing the mandates of existing institutions will take time, and challenges will be expected.

Speaking during the UN Climate Change Conference (COP27) Presidency press briefing on Wednesday 8 March, Nasir emphasized the urgency of funding arrangements to deliver immediate assistance to communities highly impacted by climate change.

"The discussion on who will pay and how much should not be the main focus, rather the priority should be to respond to the needs of affected communities as soon as possible," Nasir stated.

The urgency of the loss and damage issue has led to a nomination by regional groups to fill two empty slots at COP27. According to Nasir, the issue is of extreme importance to everyone, and all parties want to be a part of the discussion.

First meeting

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Activists who spoke to The Standard said the announcement about the Fund is great news to those who have suffered from the effects of climate change.

The first meeting regarding the loss of funding arrangements will happen at the end of March 2023.

Nasir also highlighted the challenge of implementing the Paris Agreement and reaching the 1.5C target, stating that there are several missing gaps in the pathways toward achieving this goal. For the target to be achieved, he called for the right factors to be in place, including technology, finance, and capacities.

He further stated that a just transition to low-carbon economies is necessary, but it needs to be expedited with social and economic considerations under the umbrella of climate change.

Achieving the 1.5 target

Meanwhile, ahead of COP28, the United Arab Emirates(UAE) is considering identifying pathways toward achieving the 1.5C target. Nasir said these pathways will focus on renewable energy, sustainable transportation, resilient agriculture, and production systems, which had not previously been discussed at COP meetings.

"The UAE is considering identifying pathways to make the 1.5 target a reality, and there is a focus on expanding renewable energy, which means reducing fossil fuels," he explained.

"The challenge will be to make these solutions inclusive and scalable," Nasir said

Nasir also emphasized the importance of expanding renewable energy, which would require reducing fossil fuels.

Loss and damage Fund

Nasir has asked G7 and G20, particularly those with financial capacity, to lead the way in mobilizing financial resources for the transition to low-carbon economies, adding that the issue of livelihoods, agriculture, and energy costs must be reflected in the outcomes of the G20 and G7 initiatives.

According to Nasir, the G7 and G20 have the financial power to influence financial resources, and Japan can offer a roadmap for the energy transition. "The issue of livelihoods, agriculture, and energy costs needs to be addressed."

Nasir highlighted the financial element as a significant challenge, particularly for developing countries struggling to access finance to meet their Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs).

He stated that the international community only had access to $100 billion, while the NDCs submitted by countries totaled a scale of $5.6 trillion, creating a gap and causing delays in implementing climate action plans.

Climate goals

To address this challenge, an emphasis has been placed on renewable and low-emission energy, identified as a primary enabler for achieving climate goals. The emphasis has also been placed on the need to mobilize investments of $4 trillion to support decarbonisation, with various funding sources to be explored.

He further emphasized the need for a new approach to achieving climate action goals and for uniform ambition across all sectors.

"The international community hopes that by expanding the focus on energy, other sectors would follow suit. The focus remains on moving in the right direction towards a sustainable future, and a focus on sectors such as deforestation, energy-intensive industries, steel and aluminum, fertilizer, and hydrogen can help achieve the climate goals," he said.