COP28: Polluters pledge (again) to compensate affected countries

Participants walk past a COP28 sign at the Expo City during the United Nations climate summit in Dubai on December 3, 2023. (Photo by Giuseppe CACACE / AFP)
Participants walk past a COP28 sign at the Expo City during the United Nations climate summit in Dubai on December 3, 2023. (Photo by Giuseppe CACACE / AFP)

Finally, countries like the Philippines, most affected by climate change, may see the color of the money of highly industrialized nations with the highest carbon footprint.

This as Environment Secretary Maria Antonia Yulo Loyzaga lauded yet another pledge by world leaders to operationalize the so-called Loss and Damage Fund to compensate countries grappling with environmental issues like more powerful storms, floods and drought.

The landmark deal was forged on the first day of the 28th Conference of Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, or COP28, setting a positive start to the global climate talks.

The Philippines has noted that while the carbon emissions of developing countries are minuscule compared to developed countries, the former are disproportionately affected by extreme weather events.

President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. was scheduled to attend COP28, but he called off his Dubai trip at the last minute to be able to focus on matters like setting free the 17 Filipino seafarers being held hostage by the Houthis.

"The Philippines calls for the immediate operationalization of this fund to assist developing and vulnerable countries to respond to droughts, floods, and rising sea levels exacerbated by climate change," Marcos told COP28 delegates in his message delivered by Special Assistant to the President Antonio Lagdameo Jr.

"We urge our partners from the private sector, civil society, partner countries and governments, and development funding institutions to support the Philippines in this bid," Marcos added. "You have been there for meaningful collaboration with our government to tackle the climate crisis."

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