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Dec 1, 2023

Caribbean Leaders are “Pledge-fatigued” at COP283

On Thursday, we told you about the hundreds of millions of dollars that countries pledge for the Loss and Damage Fund which was launched on Day One of COP28 in Dubai. The fund, aimed at assisting nations impacted by climate-related disasters, received significant financial commitments, including one hundred million dollars from the United Arab Emirates, and one hundred million dollars from Germany. CARICOM countries applauded the approval and launch of the Loss and Damage fund as it is seen as a crucial step in addressing climate-related disasters for vulnerable nations. But, and this is a BIG BUT, these are only pledges and countries in this region have learned not to fully believe in pledge since commitments made in the Paris Agreement, in terms of climate finance, have not been made by big polluter countries. Some Caribbean leaders say they are “pledge fatigued.” Hipolito Novelo is in Dubai for COP28 and spoke to some of the region’s leaders.


Hipolito Novelo, Reporting

More than four hundred million dollars in pledges by polluter countries as the Loss and Damage Fund was approved and launched on day one of COP28 in Dubai. This fund is expected to assist vulnerable countries like Belize and the rest of the Caribbean with climate related disasters.  The pledges give Caribbean leaders hope but they know too well, given the failed promises made in Paris, not to be over optimistic.


Prime Minister of The Bahamas Philip Davis exclusively telling News 5 that he is ‘pledge fatigued’ and that its time for the big polluter countries to write those checks.


Philip Davis, Prime Minister of The Bahamas

Philip Davis

Philip Davis

“I am optimistic but we are seeing more, only pledges and commitment which I am fatigued off and hopefully a lesson to us. Negotiations are continuing and I trust that we will have some fruitful outcomes.”


Hipolito Novelo

“The last time the big countries made pledge we get monies, do you believe them now? “



Philip Davis

“Well, last year if you pull up my speech from last year I told them, I was pledge fatigued, commitment fatigued and at it’s time to write the check. And I expect to say the same thing again this year.”


Prime Minister of Dominica, Roosevelt Skerrit tonight echoing PM Davis’ sentiments. Skerrit says that the world needs more than just half a billion dollars.


Roosevelt Skerrit

Roosevelt Skerrit, Prime Minister of Dominica

“The pledges that have been made for loss and damages it just close to half a billion dollars. The world needs more than that. Yes, it is a good start but it is not sufficient. The other question is having made the pledges, how do we access it and when? This is are two fundamental points. How do we access it and when. So the how and when is crucial to determine whether the commitment at this COP28 is really a sincere commitment to the implementation of the Paris Accord. We remain optimistic. Obviously some progress have been made. I think the next weeks and months will determine the eventual success of COP28.”


Hipolito Novelo

“The last time big polluter countries made pledges like these, we didn’t get the money. Do you believe them now?”


Roosevelt Skerrit

“That is what I am saying. So let us wait couple of months, a few months to see whether they will fulfill the pledges that they have made. Really, sometimes we come to this events and pledges are made, announcements are made to lower the noise so that we go to the podium and say ‘thank you very much, well done, we happy’. Well no, we have to see how they are going to actualize, operationalize that fund but crucially how do we access it and when do we access it.”


CARICOM Secretary General Dr Carla Barnett agrees with the prime ministers. Dr. Barnett says while the fund has been approved and pledges have been made, the monies need to be mobilized sooner rather than later.


Dr. Carla Barnett, Secretary-General, CARICOM

Dr. Carla Barnett

“We are glad that it has been approve but until we see the funds being mobilize and until we see the monies go into the pot it remains a promise. So we are hoping that more pledges will come and that these pledges will be realize. In the negotiations for coming out of Paris for example we know that it has taken a long time to even reach a hundred billion. So, the promises are they We would want to see promised made good on. We are looking to see as this takes shape what it will look it. It is a hopeful place that we are at but we cannot assume that the fight is won because it hasn’t.”


Reporting from COP28 in Dubai, Hipolito Novelo, News 5.

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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