At COP28 in Dubai, last year, the basic functioning rules of a new financial facility to support communities most affected by losses and damages caused by human-induced climate changes (the “Loss and Damage Fund”) have been adopted by all States that are Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). The decision marked a landmark agreement in the history of multilateralism.

The adopted rules establish that the new Fund will now become operative under the World Bank for a 4-year trial period, aiming at providing support to countries and communities most in need as soon as technically possible. Several Governments immediately pledged financial contributions to the new Fund, including 11 Members of the European Union with new and additional climate finance worth $446,4 million out of $661,4, globally. These European Governments have, together with the Commission, surely sent a clear political signal to all developed economies: it is time to put leadership into practice and pay for historical climate responsibilities. Which means, to make rich polluters pay.

Nonetheless, as civil society organizations and representatives of grassroots movements with partnerships with a number of organizations and movements from the Global South, where most affected and fragile communities live, we want to express our deepest concern with respect to paragraphs 57 and 58 of the Dubai decision, in which it is stated that the Fund “will provide financing in the form of grants and highly concessional loans”, and that it “may deploy [..] grants, [..] direct budget support and policy-based finance [..]”. We think that this wording can potentially increase the unjust burden placed on the shoulders of countries and communities most affected by climate change -related, human-induced disasters where public and international finance, assistance and support are already most needed in the form of direct support and grants, as compensations for losses and damages already occurred – money that must surely not land in the form of loans, potentially creating more public and/or private debt at the community and country level.

Communities, families, small businesses, and local governments affected by climate-related disasters do not deserve more debt, as they do not carry any historical responsibility for it and, for sure, cannot pay new, additional costs in the form of interest rates. We therefore ask EU and Western Governments to strongly prioritize grants and direct budget support, avoiding loans (even if highly concessional) as much as possible.
Together with other NGOs and civil society movements from all over Europe as part of the pan-European Spark consortium, the Italian Climate Network is therefore launching two actions, which each concerned organization can freely join in their own respective capacity, to keep the 2023 “Make the Rich Polluters Pay” campaign alive in 2024, entering now a new phase:


We will do our best to be vocal on the topic in Bonn, ahead of the second meeting of the Fund’s Board scheduled from 9 to 12 July 2024, as many members of the Board will be in Bonn as negotiators.

How? With two stunt actions on 11 June – PLEASE JOIN US!

When? TUESDAY 11 JUNE 2024

Stunt action #1: h 9.00, in front of the UN premises in Bonn (Platz der vereinten Nationen)

Stunt action #2: h12.00 inside the UN venue, in front of the main plenary hall only for UNFCCC badge holders.

ICN members will bring banners for all participants with written “Grants, not loans!” in asking for more climate justice in the management of the new Loss and Damage Fund.

We duly requested authorizations for both actions – also, please read the UNFCCC code of conduct.

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