A special U.N. committee tasked with helping implement a loss and damage fund for countries most affected by the climate catastrophe has hashed out key provisions to fulfill the breakthrough deal after nearly a year of negotiations. At a meeting in Abu Dhabi over the weekend, countries agreed to have the World Bank temporarily administer the fund, which critics say will give the United States and other wealthy countries too much influence over the fund. The U.S., one of the world’s worst polluters, has notoriously opposed the loss and damage agreement reached at the U.N. climate summit in Egypt last year.
The fund’s initial target size is expected to be about $500 million — far lower than the trillions of dollars that would be needed for countries to cope with the damage of climate disasters in the years to come. Global leaders will be asked to ratify the plan when they meet for COP28 in Dubai starting later this month, ahead of the fund’s planned launch in 2024.