Can the Loss and Damage fund ensure Mongolia’s fight against climate change?
Under the guidance of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), an international committee has reached an agreement of recommendations on operationalising a global fund for vulnerable countries and communities affected by climate change on November 4th in Abu Dhabi. Despite a formal objection from the U.S. and reservations from other members in the 24-member transitional committee (TC), the final approval is set for the 28th Conference of Parties (COP28) to the UNFCCC that will be held from November 30 - December 12 in Dubai. Can the loss and damage (L&D) fund, as agreed in principle, be enough for most vulnerable countries like Mongolia to address the effects of the climate emergency? Will Mongolia certainly qualify to receive the fund?
While Mongolia, with its unique geographic location, extreme weather and fragile ecosystems, coupled with livelihood largely depending on pastoral livestock and rain-fed agriculture, the landlocked country has been highly vulnerable to climate change impacts. Despite it emits only 0.1 per cent of the world's total greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, Mongolia has already experienced distinct climate variability as warming of over 2°C and decrease of precipitation between 1940 and 2015. Mongolia’s Third National Communication to the UNFCCC suggested that the climate induced threats could increase between 2046 and 2065 in all provinces while the western provinces are likely to experience more climate risks.
As President Khurelsukh Ukhnaa urged the world leaders during COP27 that ‘Soil, food and human beings are inextricably linked. Therefore, combating climate change is intrinsic to protecting soil, our food and humankind’. Among the nearly 3.4 million population, nearly 27 percent of household those are depending on livestock and more than 41 percent of the total herder population have been suffering from hostile weather conditions like dzuds, heatwave, drought, floods and dust storms. In last 20 years, climate induced disasters have increased twice as per the government’s submission. Let’s not forget the severe dzud of 2010 that cost an estimated two percent of GDP loss. Likewise, vulnerability to severe dzud remains high in Mongolia due to traditional culture, multidimensional poverty rates and above and overall weak capacity of communities and institutions to adaptation and resilience to climate change.
For the Complete Article, See, Avilash Roul, "Can the Loss and Damage fund ensure Mongolia’s fight against climate change?, The UB Post, November 20, 2023.