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By Aabigayle McIntosh
Prime Minister Gaston has committed to leveraging his influence to hold wealthier nations accountable for their financial commitments to the Loss and Damage Fund.
During the initial week of COP 28, over US$700 million was pledged to this crucial fund, designed to aid developing nations most susceptible to the adverse impacts of climate change.
The fund plays a pivotal role in assisting developing nations that are disproportionately affected by the consequences of climate change.
The substantial financial commitments made during the first week of COP 28 signals a collective effort to address the urgent needs of vulnerable nations.
Prime Minister Gaston’s pledge to advocate for the fulfillment of these commitments underscores the importance of international cooperation in tackling the impacts of climate change and supporting those most in need.
“You can be rest assured we are holding them responsible; we have nominated an Antigua Peter Abraham Junior to serve on the first board of this fund.
“And the remit for Mr. Peter Abraham is to continue to fight stridently to ensure the fund is properly capitalized and these pledges materialised, so you can be rest assured I will be utilising my influence to ensure these countries honour their pledges,” Browne said.
The new Board for the Loss and Damage has not yet been announced but it is expected that 26 persons—14 of which will be selected from developing countries—will oversee the fund and determine how to prioritize funding requests.
The World Bank is expected to be the interim host of the fund, with conditions over the next three years to ensure that the World Bank current policies do not prevent funding from reaching the most at-risk communities in the climate crisis.
Browne has also described the talks with world leaders at COP 28 as fruitful.
“We are on the frontline of climate change and we have to continue to be strident in our advocacy to get these larger countries to reduce their pollution and ultimately to protect our interest and to protect the interest of humanity. So, a very successful conference we have been at the forefront of the loss and damage fund and we recognize that given pledges in a few million dollars does not address the issue of loss and damage, but, it’s a start,” Browne said.
COP28 will end on Tuesday, December 12 as COP28 President Sultan al-Jaber has urged delegates from the nearly 200 countries to work hard to reach a consensus on climate action.