Uganda could use this support to rehabilitate infrastructure, invest in renewable energy, and implement adaptive strategies crucial for navigating future climate risks, says PwC.
a health centre in Buliisa District near Lake Albert, submerged as water levels rose in 2019
Experts have given their thoughts on the climate related Loss and Damage compensation fund that was reignited at the world climate conference opening day.
In an act described as "a surprise that has lit up COP28" taking place in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), delegates agreed to launch a long-awaited fund to pay for damage from climate-linked disasters.
But it was the Conference host and president Sultan al Jaber who "shook up the meeting" with raising the issue and his country pledging 100 million dollars to the fund, an amount equalled by Germany, while other countries like the EU, UK, US and announced contributions of around 400 million dollars.
The funds are aimed at supporting poor countries, including Uganda, that have suffered the impacts of climate change like extreme weather and slow-onset disasters such as sea level rises, ocean acidification, and melting glaciers.
"It's hoped the deal will provide the momentum for an ambitious wider agreement on action during the summit," says the Civil Society Budget Advocacy Group. The group says that the deal which was first proposed in the mid 1990s was fought by the developed countries, not because they didn't have the money, but because they didn't want to compensate the main sufferers for their activities.
UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres said climate justice was being delivered.
"I welcome the decision taken at the opening of COP 28 to oparationalize the new Loss and Damage Fund, an essential tool for delivering climate justice," he posted on social media platform, X.
The idea of the Loss and Damage Fund was first introduced by Vanuatu in 1991 as there was more recognition that those bearing the heaviest impact of climate change were the least contributors, the poor countries.
"For decades, richer countries fought tooth and nail against the idea of such a fund, wary of having to pay "compensation" for historic carbon emissions. At the heart of the push for this fund is a recognition that those countries likely to be most affected by climate change are the least responsible for the problem itself."
The civil society is upbeat that is implemented, the fund would ensure those who created the problem of climate change - developed states and major emitters - would compensate those experiencing its most devastating effects.
Experts also say that as the effects of climate change increase, including rising sea levels abetting natural disasters, there is a recognition that the world has failed to prevent climate change from happening.
Al Jaber's move followed several meetings amongst world leaders since the climate conference that was held in Egypt last year, at which calls for the find were made.
The talks then centered on how the fund would work, who would commit to it, and who would qualify to get the funds.
In her opinion, Theresa Bazudde, Associate, Risk Assurance Services at PwC Uganda, calls this a "monumental step that goes beyond mere compensation, marking a new era of empowerment for developing nations battling the impacts of climate change."
She says if implemented and well utilised, Uganda stands to benefit from the fund.
"For Uganda, this fund signifies a pathway to comprehensive change; providing tools for short-term relief and long-term resilience," said Bazudde. She adds that there are several sectors that have been affected by effects of climate change that require such support.
"Uganda could use this support to rehabilitate infrastructure, invest in renewable energy, and implement adaptive strategies crucial for navigating future climate risks." According to her, the move by the world on the fund reflects global responsibility and solidarity.
"It recognises historical injustices and the urgent need to mitigate the effects of climate change on the most vulnerable. The narrative is changing from assistance to cooperation and empowerment, with affected nations shaping their own future."