By Prosper HERI NGORORA, 5 December 2023
As the COP28 opened its doors on 30 November this year in Dubai, UAE, delegates at the Conference have finally adopted a loss and damage fund.
Some developed nations have promised to contribute to the fund to help countries which are mostly affected by climate change.
However, despite this important announcement, some Congolese climate activists seem to have doubts about the real reasons of that announcement.
“The adoption of the loss and damage fund is a great news. But I think it was a strategic decision to blind people who are attending this COP. This COP is held in a country which depends on fossil fuel. This adoption looks like a word pass to authorize the use of fossil fuel,” speaks out Guillaume KALONJI, a young Congolese attending that 28th conference of parties.
The loss and damage fund was established at the end of COP27 in Sharm El-Sheikh in Egypt, adopting recommendations from a technical committee.
Among others, the fund aims to provide necessary financial support to nations most vulnerable to the effects of climate change.
The DRC is among countries most affected by climatic shocks, with worse consequences.
In May 2023, more than 430 people died; 5000 were reported missing to the call in floodings in Kalehe area, South-Kivu region in the East of Congo.
A civil society member warned that the lack of means as ambulances, financial support to plant trees and to make other climatic actions in order to prevent was among main reasons of that disaster, calling leaders to make sure that the early warning system is operational.
Despite his pessimism about the loss and damage fund, Guillaume KALONJI although acknowledges that the DRC needs that fund to help in adaptation and mitigation of climate change.
“During the Kalehe disaster, we saw that we needed the money. The financial assistance shouldn’t come from Congolese contributors but from those nations responsible for climate change. We are waiting for that fund but this should not be a strategy to promote fossil fuels,” he emphasizes.
While speaking at the world climate action summit held on 1-2 December in Dubai on , the UN General Secretary Antonio Guteres urged world leaders to take action in the struggle against climate change.
Guteres underlined that climate chaos is fanning the flames of injustice, adding that ‘developing countries are devastated by disasters they did not cause’.
He called developed countries to take their responsibilities towards developing countries in climate financing.
“Developed countries must show now how they will double adaptation finance to 40 billion by the the year 2025 as promised and clarify how they will deliver on the 100 billion as promised,” he said.
This story was produced with support from MESHA and IDRC Eastern and Southern Africa Office for Science Journalists reporting on COP28.