The second day of the COP28 in Dubai opened with the United Arab Emirates establishing a $30 billion fund to bridge climate finance at the opening of the World Climate Action Summit attended by dozens of high-profile leaders on Dec 1.

UAE President Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan’s announcement came as COP28 was still reeling from a breakthrough for operationalizing a loss and damage fund on Thursday evening, the official opening of the Conference of Parties.

On Thursday, several countries, led by the UAE, made their financial commitments to the loss and damage fund, with the UAE contributing $100 million, Germany $100 million, Britain at about $50.6 million dollars, Japan, $10 million, and the United States at $17.5 million.

“The lack of readily available and affordable climate finance has long been one of the biggest obstacles in advancing climate action globally. Therefore, I am pleased to announce the establishment of a $30 billion fund for global climate solutions,” said Sheikh Mohamed.

“This fund is specially designed to bridge the climate finance gap, ensuring availability, and accessibility as well as affordability at scale. Its objective is to stimulate the raising of investment of $250 billion by 2030,” he added.

The UAE president said his country “has an established record in climate action”, citing its efforts over the past decades to diversify its traditionally oil-dependent economy, and “build our capabilities in renewable and clean energy sectors”, as well as setting a national pathway to net zero by 2050.

“Esteemed guests, when we committed to hosting COP28, we pledged to bring the world together to unite, work and deliver. “We have also committed to investing in approximately $130 billion dollars over the next seven years,” said Sheikh Mohamed.

“We are finding practical ways to accelerate the world’s transition to low emission growth economy,” he added.

United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said the success of COP28 would depend on the Global Stocktake “prescribing a credible cure in three areas”.

They include “drastically cutting emissions. The Global Stocktake, he said, “must set clear expectations for economy-wide Nationally Determined Contributions that cover all greenhouse gases, and align with the 1.5-degree limit.

“The G20, which represents 80 percent of the world’s emissions, must lead. I urge countries to speed up their net zero timelines, to get there as close as possible to 2040 in developed countries and 2050 in emerging economies,” said Guterres.

Second, he said, the world must accelerate a just, equitable transition to renewables. The 1.5-degree limit is only possible “if we ultimately stop burning all fossil fuels”.

“Not reduce. Not abate. Phaseout – with a clear timeframe aligned with 1.5 degrees. The Global Stocktake must not only commit to that – it must also commit to triple renewables; double energy efficiency; and bring clean energy to all by 2030,” said Guterres.

Third, climate justice, he said “is long overdue” and that developing countries “are being devastated by disasters they did not cause”.

“Extortionate borrowing costs are blocking their climate action plans. And support is far too little, far too late. The Global Stocktake must commit to a surge in finance, including for adaptation and loss and damage,” said Guterres.

“Developed countries must show how they will double adaptation finance to $40 billion a year by 2025 – as promised – and clarify how they deliver on the $100 billion – as promised,” he added.

Britain’s King Charles III said he hoped that COP28 would be “another critical turning point towards genuine transformational action” at a time when the world was seeing “alarming tipping points being reached”.

He said unless “we rapidly repair and restore nature’s unique economy based on harmony and balance”, which is “our ultimate sustainer”, the world’s economy and survivability “will be imperilled”.

“As we work towards a zero-carbon future, we must work equally to being nature-positive. As you gather for these critical negotiations, the hope of the world rests on the decisions you will take,” said Charles III.