This paper draws on lessons from the Green Climate Fund and provides three recommendations for jumpstarting progress on Loss and Damage finance including:
1. Given the urgency of operationalising the fund we should be thinking of what is the bare minimum the Transitional Committee needs to deliver at COP 28 and what could be deferred for the board of the fund to do in order to ensure that the bare minimum can be delivered. That will require focusing on what is most important for COP 28.
2. This approach would allow one year to operationalise and fulfil the legal requirements that would then be endorsed at COP 29 in late 2024. The bare minimum to be delivered for COP 28 include the following elements:
a. Clear identification of the components of the new funding arrangements, including the Loss and Damage Fund, with a provision for expansion of the components.
b. Establish the Loss and Damage Fund under the UNFCCC, its Paris Agreement and related documentation to effect the relationship.
c. Mandate the Loss and Damage Fund or if agreement on another coordinating body, to negotiate memorandum of understandings or partnership agreements with the components of the new funding arrangements.
d. Establish a secretariat for the Loss and Damage Fund —either an independent one with some interim arrangements to begin with supported by the UNFCCC secretariat or, if the fund is located at an existing institution, with a memorandum of understanding to be negotiated with the institution by the UNFCCC secretariat on behalf of the relevant bodies.
e. Task the secretariat to roll out initial steps to operationalize the Loss and Damage Fund and funding arrangements.
d. Designate a Trustee.
f. Agree on a broad organisation of the Loss and Damage Fund, its governance, with contours of the structural elements including windows, financing inputs and instruments with details to be determined by its governing body.
g. Mandate the governing body of the Loss and Damage Fund to take further decisions on its operationalization.
3. Operationalising the Fund will require leadership from the Transitional Committee members as well as broader and high level political will coordinated by the COP 27 and 28 presidencies and the UN Secretary General.