JAM | May 15, 2023

UN Secretary-General urges swift action on Loss and Damage Fund

Tamoy Ashman

Tamoy Ashman / Our Today

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United Nations (UN) Secretary General António Guterres speaking at a Office of the Prime Minister press conference today (May 15). (OUR TODAY photo/TAMOY ASHMAN)

United Nations (UN) Secretary-General António Guterres is appealing to the member of states to act swiftly to enact the Loss and Damage Fund that seeks to assist countries impacted by natural disasters and climate change before the next conference of the parties (COP).

The Loss and Damage Fund was a monumental achievement at the United Nations COP27. The fund aims to provide financial assistance to nations most vulnerable and impacted by the effects of climate change.

Representatives from 24 countries are to work together to decide what form the fund should take, which countries should contribute, and where and how the money should be distributed.

The UN chief was speaking at a press briefing today (May 15) at the Office of the Prime Minister (OPM), where he alluded that members of states were having issues coming to an agreement.

“I strongly appeal to all those members of states to come to an agreement to make sure that it becomes operational before the next COP. It would be absolutely unacceptable that something that took years and years and years to achieved and the decision to have the Loss and Damage fund would now be put to question by technicalities or by different power games,” said Guterres.

United Nations (UN) Secretary General Antonio Antonio Gutteres speaking at a Office of the Prime Minister press conference today (May 15). (OUR TODAY photo/TAMOY ASHMAN)

He noted that the Loss and Damage Fund was a big victory and that the UN agency that supports the process is working hard with its climate team to create conditions for the members of states.

“My appeal is for all those that have a responsibility in making it happen to fully assume that responsibility. We cannot afford to go through the next COP without the loss and damage fund for in operation,” he stressed.

The 2023 United Nations Climate Change Conference is scheduled to take place from November 30 to December 12. It will be hosted by the United Arab Emirates.

Historically, developed countries have emitted the majority of the greenhouse gases that contribute to climate change and cause the climate crisis. However, they are often the least affected by climate change. In contrast, developing countries like Jamaica often contribute the least to the climate crisis and are affected the most both financially and environmentally.

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