COP28

Japan to wait for loss and damage fund details before making pledges

Iya Gozum

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Japan to wait for loss and damage fund details before making pledges

COP28. A person walks past a "#COP28" sign during The Changemaker Majlis, a one-day CEO-level thought leadership workshop focused on climate action, in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, October 1, 2023.

Amr Alfiky/Reuters

A Japanese government official said they are hopeful that a “good decision” will be made at COP28 regarding the establishment of a loss and damage fund

MANILA, Philippines – Japan will wait for the plan to operationalize the loss and damage fund at the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP28) before making any pledges to the fund.

In a press conference organized by the Foreign Press Center Japan on on Monday, November 27, a Japanese government official said that Japan can only ascertain its contribution to the fund once the operationalization plans of the fund are laid out.

“[W]e believe that we can only begin to study what contributions we can make after the decision is delivered at COP28,” the official said.

He added that they are hoping a “good decision” will be made at COP28.

The official also said that Japan has been consistent in providing support to vulnerable countries, specifically in disaster recovery and risk reduction.

Recently, Japan gave the Philippines a post-disaster loan of 30 billion yen (P11,164,823,712) and a grant aid of 1.1 billion yen (P409,376,869.44) to procure a Satellite Data Communication System for the Philippine Coast Guard.

“Japan has constantly attached importance on providing support to vulnerable countries,” he said.

Asked specifically about Japan’s willingness to assist the Philippines yo cope with climate disasters through the loss and damage fund, the official reiterated Japan’s commitment to making a “resilient socio-economic environment.”

“We would like to wait until we are able to study the substance of the decision on the operationalization of the loss and damage fund as we make decisions regarding Japan’s contributions,” he said.

The loss and damage fund should help poor nations at the brunt of climate disasters aggravated by wealthy nations’ emissions.

Meanwhile, the European Union (EU) had already said weeks ago it will make a “substantial” contribution to the loss and damage fund. However, the EU has yet to give the specific amount that they are pledging.

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Weeks before the start of COP28, a special UN committee agreed to recommend the World Bank as host of the fund for an interim period of four years. Japan is the second largest shareholder in the World Bank, after the United States.

Climate advocates had earlier flagged the recommendation, citing the World Bank’s involvement in fossil fuel investments and wealthy countries’ influence over the operations of the bank.

COP28, to be held from November 30 to December 12, will gather over 70,000 participants at Expo City in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

It will feature the first-ever Global Stocktake, a process for countries and other stakeholders to evaluate the collective progress they’re making toward meeting the goals of the 2015 Paris Agreement. – Rappler.com

1 Japanese yen = 0.37 Philippine peso

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Iya Gozum

Iya Gozum covers the environment, agriculture, and science beats for Rappler.