COP28: Loss and Damage Fund seen as a half-hearted step forward in Africa

The establishment of this fund dedicated to repairing climate disasters was adopted in the early hours of COP28 on Thursday 30 November in Dubai. This fund, which was one of the major achievements of the last COP held a year ago in Sharm el-Sheikh in Egypt, was now waiting to be operationalized. This important decision also satisfies African stakeholders, where many countries are facing severe weather disasters.

Men dig for possible survivors in the thick mud and debris, after Cyclone Freddy made landfall, in the Chilobwe neighbourhood of Blantyre, Malawi, March 13, 2023. © ELDSON CHAGARA/REUTERS

By: RFI Follow


Read More


We have made history " said Sultan al-Jaber, the UAE president of COP28. The creation of the "loss and damage" fund is the result of a thirty-year struggle by the so-called countries of the South, whose losses linked to climate change amount to more than 8% of their national wealth.

Tosi Mpanu-Mpanu, Ambassador of the Democratic Republic of Congo to the COP, spoke to our special envoy in Dubai, Jeanne Richard. "We can only be happy, because this is starting this COP on a positive note. This decision on loss and damage was not a foregone conclusion. And now, this governance instrument has been adopted and the fund is operational.


Insufficient amounts

Nearly $420 million has been pledged by the United Arab Emirates, the European Union, Germany, the United Kingdom, Japan and the United States... This is enough to launch this fund, but it is still insufficient. "When you look at the 55 most vulnerable countries, over the past two decades, about $580 billion in damage has been suffered by these countries because of climate change," Mpanu-Mpanu said. And it is believed that if climate change continues on its current trajectory, by 2030, this $580 billion accumulated over 20 years could be the annual amount that countries have to face in terms of damage as a result of climate hazards.


For her part, Joyce Banda, former president of Malawi, where cyclones have killed 500 people and displaced half a million this year, responded by calling for "more action and fewer declarations of intent" from the world's rich and biggest polluters. African environmental activists also deplore the fact that the new fund is hosted for four years by the World Bank, which is considered too close to Western interests.

The non-binding nature of this fund is also the focus of criticism. Some more developed countries, such as the United States, prefer to pay their share on a voluntary basis.


Charles Baïmey (Ivorian Climate Platform) discusses the adoption of the loss and damage fund

Sidy Yansané

Read alsoCOP28: from the opening, a major step forward on loss and damage for developing countries

NewsletterGet all the latest international news straight to your inbox

Subscribe now

Keep up to date with all the latest international news by downloading the RFI app


Most read



Bolivia: Sebastian Marset, the region's most wanted drug trafficker, continues to taunt the authorities



A cult network of tantric yoga dismantled in France



'Face of evil': Yahya Sinwar, the fearsome leader of Hamas in Gaza, hunted down by Israel