Woman in plantation looking at the horizon
Denise Schneider/CARE

Landmark agreements but COP28 deal weak on adaptation finance

COP28 secured historic agreements on fossil fuel transition and the Loss and Damage Fund. However, developing countries have been let down by the lack of support for adaptation.  

Sven Harmeling, Global Policy Lead, CARE Climate Justice Centre, said: 

“COP28 has signaled that the fossil fuel era is coming to an end. While we are disappointed the agreement doesn’t go further, the fossil fuel industry is now on the ropes. Operationalization of the Loss and Damage fund is hugely significant for climate justice. However, the deal is weak on adaptation finance. Wealthy and high emitting countries must keep their promises and view this agreement as a floor for their ambition, not a ceiling.” 

On the finance negotiations, John Nordbo, Senior Climate Adviser, CARE Denmark, said: 

“Sadly, developing countries have not yet seen the delivery of support required to confront the climate crisis. They are being asked to pick up much of the bill for the climate crisis. Longer-term finance for Loss and Damage is completely missing. And the deal doesn’t deliver a firm commitment to developing countries on increased support for energy transformation nor climate adaptation.” 

On adaptation, Obed Koringo, Climate Policy Adviser, CARE Denmark, based in Nairobi, said: 

“The COP28 outcome has failed to live up to our expectations on adaptation, especially on increasing finance and developing a robust framework for the Global Goal on Adaptation. Adaptation is a life and death issue for people living in developing countries, particularly women and girls in Africa who are already being affected by devastating climate change impacts. Existing promises on adaptation finance must be met in full without delay, while the New Collective Quantifiable Goal, to be agreed in 2024 at COP29, needs to be radically more ambitious.” 

On the Loss and Damage Fund, Fanny Petitbon, Head of Advocacy, CARE France, said: 

“COP28 demonstrates that pressure from countries and civil society really matters. Operationalization of the Loss and Damage Fund was a landmark day for climate justice after 30 years of rich countries blocking the way. At last, the Fund will provide support for people affected by the worst impacts of climate change. However, the funding pledges by wealthy countries have been derisory. We literally need one thousand times more than the current pledges to respond to the real costs of Loss and Damage.” 

On mitigation, Mrityunjoy Das, Deputy Director, Humanitarian and Climate Action Programme, CARE Bangladesh, said:  

“Wealthy and high emitting countries must take urgent action to phase out fossil fuels. They have reaped the rewards of oil, gas, and coal expansion under the pretext of ‘phase down’ and ‘transitional fuel', while people living in the poorest communities in the world are paying with their lives and assets. Only a deep and rapid phase-out of fossil fuels will keep 1.5 degrees within reach.”  

On gender, Rosa van Driel, Advocacy Adviser, CARE Netherlands, said:  

“COP28 fell short in achieving significant progress on gender-just climate action. With only 15 women among 133 world leaders present, and almost twice as many men in country negotiating teams compared to women, it is no surprise that gender-just language was removed or watered down. Looking ahead, COP29 is a critical moment for women and girls as the current Gender Action Plan will be reviewed. It is time to turn promises into action by investing in local women leaders, prioritizing inclusive decision-making, and making sure climate finance reaches women and girls at the frontlines of the climate crisis.”

For media inquiries, please contact Iolanda Jaquemet, Senior Humanitarian Communications Coordinator, CARE International via: [email protected].