Over 30 Youth Civil Society Organizations Call on World Leaders to Act on Loss and Damage at COP26

Loss and Damage Youth Coalition (LDYC)

Youth organizations from around the world are urging governments to prioritize Loss and Damage (L&D) in the upcoming COP26 negotiations and to redirect global public finance to those countries in the Global South and frontline communities that are disproportionately affected by climate change impacts.

October 25, 2021 – The IPCC report from August 2021 has sounded an alarm on what scientists and climate advocates have known for years: that human influence has unequivocally warmed the planet, and that climate-induced Loss and Damage will become even more severe and frequent in the coming years.”  As the UNFCCC Conference of Parties (COP26) approaches, youth from around the world are urging wealthy countries to stop obstructing progress on Loss and Damage and to take immediate measures to make it a permanent agenda item in all UNFCCC negotiations. Their demands are the following:

  1. Stop the delay, denial, and blocking of progress – act now on loss and damage!
  2. Make loss and damage a priority at COP26 by appointing an L&D Champion.
  3. Pledge a trillion dollars in finance for loss and damage over the next five years.
  4. Tax big polluters to pay for loss and damage. 
  5. Operationalise a Santiago Network on L&D that works for the people.
  6. Centre youth voices in L&D negotiations by setting a youth advisory committee.

“Loss and Damage is the big climate injustice for our generation”, said Ineza Umuhoza Grace, Co-Director of LDYC. “Addressing L&D is neither a charity, or development opportunity for vulnerable communities, it is a means to ensure that we have access to a stable future. History knows who broke the harmony of our planet, so today we simply claim and demand climate justice for all.”

With these Youth Demands for COP26, global youth are urging Parties to “ensure that the Santiago Network is operationalised in a just and equitable way that provides timely and adequate technical assistance, knowledge and resources on the ground to countries and communities particularly vulnerable to L&D impacts”.

Youth groups are also urging the UK COP26 Presidency to appoint an L&D champion to “create space for discussion and action addressing the needs of Global South countries” and “frontline communities most affected by climate change”. They demand that voices of global youth, especially those historically marginalized, should be centred in L&D negotiations through the creation of a UNFCCC youth advisory committee on L&D. 

Moreover, this youth call demands that wealthy governments pledge “a trillion dollars in finance for Loss and Damage over the next five years” in the form of grants, and separate from the public funding necessary for climate adaptation and development. “Global South countries, which have done the least to cause the climate crisis, are hit the hardest by climate change impacts and driven deeper into vulnerability, poverty and debt,” said Kevin Mtai, a member of LDYC. “The financial support and action towards climate change mitigation and adaptation are too little to respond to the climate emergency and in­creasing climate-related Loss and Damage.” 

Finally, these demands call for the taxation of big polluters, which are the most responsible for the climate and ecological crises, to pay for Loss and Damage. “As part of a just transition away from fossil fuels, governments must tax fossil fuel companies on every unit of fossil fuel extracted,” youth groups say in their statement.

Background

These demands for COP26 were presented by the Loss and Damage Youth Coalition, an alliance of youth from the Global South and North who have come together to demand action on addressing Loss and Damage caused by climate change. The coalition strives to build the organisational capacity of global youth on Loss and Damage and to promote youth participation in decision-making around this issue. 

Ends.

Loss and Damage Youth Coalition Contact: 

Sadie DeCoste and Ineza Umuhoza Grace,

Co-Directors of Loss and Damage Youth Coalition

lossanddamageyouthcoalition@gmail.com


Quotes from LDYC Members:

“Loss and Damage is already affecting countries and communities around the world, and it’s only going to get worse. Communities in the Global South are feeling the worst impacts and yet have few resources to deal with them. We are calling on wealthy governments to step up and provide finance on Loss and Damage.”

– Sadie DeCoste, Co-director of LDYC, Canada/UK

sadie_decoste@hotmail.com

“Rising sea levels driven by anthropogenic global warming is causing irreversible damage to low-lying small island developing states. Pacific Islanders suffer forced displacement with little recourse under international law and limited means for resettlement. In the interests of climate justice, they are entitled to compensation for climate-related Losses and Damages.”

– Raeed Roshan Ali, Member of LDYC, Fiji

raeed_ali@live.com

“Human-induced Loss and Damage disproportionately affects already vulnerable and oppressed communities that have contributed the least to the escalating climate crisis. It is high time developed countries address their long-standing climate debt to the Global South, and provide finance and technology support on Loss and Damage. Frontline communities cannot wait any longer—we need action on Loss and Damage now.”

– Lam Quynh Vo, member of LDYC, Vietnam/Finland

quynhlam.vo@gmail.com

“Loss and Damage is the big climate injustice for our generation. Global leaders should take responsibility in addressing L&D.  Addressing L&D is neither a charity, or a development opportunity for vulnerable communities, it is a means to ensure that we have access to a stable future. History knows who broke the harmony of our planet, so today we simply claim and demand climate justice for all.”

Ineza Umuhoza Grace, Co-Director of LDYC, Rwanda

gracineza@gmail.com

“The injustice of the climate crisis means that the Global South countries, which have done the least to cause the climate crisis, are hit the hardest by climate change impacts and driven deeper into vulnerability, poverty and debt. The financial support and action towards climate change mitigation and adaptation are too little to respond to the climate emergency and in­creasing climate-related Loss and Damage.”

Kevin Mtai, Member of LDYC, Kenya

kevinmtai33@gmail.com

“Climate change is also a justice issue, and in any court case, there are perpetrators and victims.  It is clear now that those who suffer the most from the adverse effects of climate change are countries who contribute far less to the causes of the climate crisis.  As youth activists, we stand with countries from the Global South and invite world leaders to provide Loss and Damage finance now.”

– Mamadou Sylla, Member of LDYC , Sénégal

Sylla.mamadou1012@gmail.com

The climate crisis is here! We can see it in the increased frequency of extreme weather events such as hurricanes, heatwaves, droughts, and flooding. Even if we meet the Paris Agreement goals of limiting warming to 1.5°C, let alone 2°C, its effects will exacerbate and disproportionately affect vulnerable countries and communities. A renewed focus is required on assisting vulnerable countries in developing resilience to climate change and adapting to its impacts.

– Hyacinthe Niyitegeka, Co-founder of LDYC,  Rwanda,

nhyacinthe79@gmail.com

We are already facing the impacts of climate change right now. I can’t say if it’s September anymore; It certainly doesn’t look like it. With not enough rain and the feeling of still being in summer, our community which mainly depends on agriculture is badly affected.  Loss and damage is happening now, and there is an immediate solution to those suffering the impacts; Loss and Damage Finance NOW!

– Mukayiranga Eva Peace, Member of LDYC, Rwanda

evapeace0801@gmail.com

“Loss and damage is a major climate justice concern, Global South countries are suffering from the impacts of climate change caused by wealthy countries. It’s time for wealthy nations to take responsibility for their actions, start acting on it and provide finance for Loss and Damage.”

Adeline Cyuzuzo, Member of LDYC, Rwanda

adel.cyuzuzo@gmail.com 

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