World November 28, 2023 | 10:13 am

An operational damage fund and actions against sargassum, the Dominican Republic agenda at COP28

Santo Domingo.- The Dominican Republic delegation is gearing up to participate in the 2023 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP 28) in Dubai. Their agenda is centered around advocating for more efficient financing mechanisms to tackle the impacts of the climate crisis and stepping up efforts to cut down greenhouse gas emissions. This commitment comes in the wake of a devastating tropical disturbance in the country, which resulted in thirty fatalities and extensive infrastructural damage.

Milagros De Camps, the Vice Minister of Climate Change and Sustainability at the Ministry of the Environment, has stressed the urgency of operationalizing the damage and loss fund established at COP27. This fund is crucial for mitigating the diverse impacts of climate change, ranging from economic and social to cultural and environmental. De Camps also aims to highlight the challenges posed by sargassum in the Caribbean, a byproduct of climate change, and to advocate for the cessation of subsidies to industries that contribute to pollution.

The Dominican Republic’s delegation to COP 28 comprises officials from the Ministry of the Environment, including Minister Miguel Ceara Hatton and Vice Minister De Camps. Representatives from the National Council for Climate Change and Clean Development Mechanism, as well as various other governmental, private sector, and civil society entities, are also part of the delegation.

In preparation for COP 28, the Dominican Republic hosted pivotal negotiations aimed at establishing a new fund. This fund is designed to address critical issues like the management of sargassum and emergency responses to hurricanes. The plan for this fund, debated at the Third Meeting of the Transition Committee of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, is expected to be unveiled at COP 28.

The conference has been mired in controversy due to the appointment of Sultan al Jaber, president of oil company Adnoc, as its chair. Environmental groups have raised concerns about potential conflicts of interest given his ties to the oil industry.

In the lead-up to the conference, the World Health Organization has called for a focus on the health implications of global warming. WHO Chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus emphasized the importance of global leaders making strides in Dubai to showcase the health benefits of climate action.

The United States, represented by Special Envoy for Climate Change John Kerry, is set to prioritize nuclear fusion as a key climate solution at the summit. Additionally, the summit will witness an unprecedented event with the participation of Pope Francis on December 2. The Pope’s presence is expected to be a pivotal moment, urging countries to lower their greenhouse gas emissions and influencing key aspects of the negotiations.

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