COP28 Loss and Damage pledge welcome; Australia must now step up with much-needed funds

DUBAI/SYDNEY, Friday 1 December 2023 — In response to the landmark Loss and Damage agreement from Day 1 of COP28 in Dubai, the following comments can be attributed to Greenpeace Australia Pacific’s Head of Pacific, Shiva Gounden:

Pacific Climate Justice © The Roving Rovas / Greenpeace

Matavai Pacific Cultural Arts activist holds a sign asking Pacific governments to “Vote YES for Climate Justice” as the Vanuatu Government and civil society organisations seek an advisory opinion at the International Court of Justice.

“We welcome the pledge from COP28 host country the United Arab Emirates to the new Loss and Damage Fund, a vital first step towards ensuring communities facing climate harm get the support they desperately need.

“For too long, those least responsible for causing the climate crisis have borne the brunt of climate impacts. We’re seeing this play out across the Pacific in real time as sea level rise, severe storms and cyclones, and warming oceans threaten livelihoods, security, and the unique and irreplaceable Pacific culture. 

“Now, the Fund needs to be filled. Finance must come from those most responsible for creating the climate crisis — the most polluting nations including Australia, as well as the fossil fuel industry, who for too long have made eye-watering profits from fuelling climate destruction and must now pay for the harm they have caused.

“As the third largest fossil fuel exporter in the world and a major contributor to global emissions, the Australian government has a responsibility to step up and make significant contributions to the Loss and Damage Fund. 

“If coupled with a serious commitment to phasing out fossil fuels, this would go a long way towards repairing our relationship with Pacific nations and being taken seriously as a climate leader on the international stage for a COP31 co-bid.

“We look forward to hearing from Minister Bowen on these critical issues when he arrives in Dubai next week.”

—ENDS—

For more information or to arrange an interview please contact: 

Kate O’Callaghan on +61 406 231 892 or [email protected]