Youth Letter: Urging the COP27 Presidency to Take Action on Addressing Loss and Damage Caused by Climate Change

Youth climate activists release an open letter demanding that the COP27 Presidency take action to address climate-induced loss and damage.

Read the open letter: Here

Flooding from heavy rain has destroyed communities’ crops and houses, and roads, and, most tragically, resulted in people losing their lives, whilst leaving many others homeless and fearful. Poor communities in developing countries are already suffering devastation from the impacts of the climate crisis. For far too long, efforts to reduce emissions and scale up adaptation have been utterly inadequate exceeding people’s ability to adapt. Therefore, loss and damage are now part of the reality of climate change and must be addressed. This year vulnerable communities worldwide have already experienced the dire impacts of climate change.

Tropical storm Ana wreaked havoc in Malawi, causing flooding, destruction, and many fatalities. In total 995,072 people were affected, 46 people lost their lives, and 206 people were injured. Cyclone Batsirai struck Madagascar in February of this year, killing 120 people, destroying over 124,000 homes, and displacing an additional 30,000 people. In April 2022, heavy rainfall hit two provinces in South Africa, KwaZulu-Natal and Eastern Cape killing 443 people, with over 40,000 reported missing and more than 40,000 people being displaced. The floods also destroyed or damaged 4,000 homes.

These disasters compound the existing health and economic crises caused by COVID-19. Still, developed country governments who have benefited from pollution are blocking the provision of finance to pay for loss and damage.

We, the youths of the world call upon the COP27 presidency to make the following commitments:

  • Urgent need for the finance to address Loss and Damage
  • Santiago Network for Loss and Damage operationalization
  • Loss and Damage Need Assessments
  • Loss and Damage as a permanent agenda item
  • Youth Advisory Committee
  • The Global Stocktake
  • Meet the Loss and Damage Youth Coalition

The letter was authored by members of the Loss and Damage Youth Coalition (LDYC), a new global alliance of young people demanding action on the most severe impacts of climate change. 

The letter has over 140 signatories from different countries at the time of writing. Young people and members of youth-led organizations worldwide are invited to sign on to the open letter at this link.

LDYC is officially launching the open letter to the COP27 presidency on the 13th of June 2022.

Quotes from Loss and Damage Youth Coalition Members

“Elders, experienced individuals, government, financial institutions, everyone needs to stop picturing shallow youth engagement in actions. Yes, we have a voice; yes, it is good to be in your decisions, but there is so much more we can do if WE ACT NOW TOGETHER. Youth should be included at every stage, from policymaking to project implementation.  The youth voice matters, you simply need to actually listen and risk investing in our solutions.” – Ineza Umuhoza Grace (Rwanda), Co-ordinator, Loss and Damage Youth Coalition

“Africa is one of the continents worst affected by the climate crisis, although it is among the lowest carbon emitters in the world. And yet we have experienced climate impacts like locusts invasions, floods, droughts, and wildfires. The COP 27 presidency has the opportunity to demonstrate real climate leadership and set an example to the world. By acting now and acting drastically. It is a life and death situation. We need the UK to set an example globally, not just for the benefit of its citizens, but for the world.” – Kevin Mtai (Kenya), Loss and Damage Youth Coalition

“In the Pacific, our way of life defines our cultural identity, the impact of loss and damage resulting out of climate change creates a greater risk towards preserving our identity” – (Selita Pulini Tikoibua), Loss and Damage Youth Coalition

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