On the 4th of August 2022, 7 am GMT, we launched our open letter to youths globally, especially youths in the Global South. Highlighting our understanding of the situation of climate change and how it affects us all. The aim was to establish a sense of solidarity and elucidate the hope that together we can create the future that we want. The open letter has been attached below.
Though we’re all victims, one truth about experiencing the overwhelming impacts of climate change is that no one quite understands it as you do, we may be able to tell the stories but only very few are able to really see it as you do. We’ve watched the numbers as they accrue in your losses, and many times we’ve reduced them to mere figures and stories, but to you, they were your sisters, your brothers, your parents, your homes, your livelihood, your future, your cultural, your identity, your childhood, your cherished memory.
It is unfortunate that our leaders don’t care enough about your common benefit as making a profit out of the pain of others is business as usual. In the news, promises of financial action and support, capacity enhancement, equal participation in the decision-making process, and other forms of active assistance were made by our leaders. But truly, to what extent could our losses be reparable? How much are we capable to build back better after the damage?
Though in the face of this reality, all our lives have been changed, and some of us are terribly affected. Global south countries, developing countries, and small islands states immersed in global discussion, where the global north countries and developed nations pledge action and support to address this issue in solidarity have heard repeatedly this very famous statement, “This year, we must take climate change seriously”, but it is with agony that global south communities know that those promised words don’t have concrete hope on the ground! And the crisis is growing to a higher extent every day.
When you come out to talk about the climate change impacts you’ve experienced, to many of us it brings to mind only the specific effects that have been resounded in our ears by the media, the ones we stand a chance of adapting or mitigating, but oblivious to us, there are also impacts you face that go beyond your ability to cope or adapt to or even explain. Now we are left with little option but to watch climate change force us out of our ancestral homes, our islands and nations being swallowed up, and our means of livelihood taken away from us.
Though the future might seem unredeemable, we stand a chance at restoring tangible hope. We have gathered ourselves as the “Loss and Damage Youth Coalition” a coalition of youth from the global north and south aiming to amplify voices demanding action to address “loss and damage”. We share the lived experience of the frontline communities from Africa, Europe, Asia, North America, South America, Oceania and other parts of the world and together advocate for climate justice especially Loss and Damage Finance.
We appreciate your strength and resiliency through this difficult time, and we have open arms towards you as we wish to make the Positive advocacy around climate justice as we paint what climate solidarity is for us.