As the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank Group (WBG) gather for their 2023 Spring Meetings, climate activists from the Loss and Damage Youth Coalition (LDYC) call for bold action from these institutions to tackle the climate crisis by scaling up climate finance and debt relief.
The latest sixth assessment report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) stresses that loss and damage from the adverse impacts of climate change are intensifying and will only worsen. The report also shows that public and private investments in fossil fuels are more significant than those for climate mitigation and adaptation, leading to increased losses and damages. Thanks to their significant financial resources and influence in global economic and climate policymaking, multilateral organizations such as the IMF and the WBG are vital to mobilizing sufficient climate finance. Yet few decisions are taken in this regard to support communities directly exposed to loss and damage.
At COP 27, Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) established the Loss and Damage Fund (LDF), particularly for countries most vulnerable to loss and damage from the adverse impacts of the climate crisis. Discussions on operationalizing the Fund will take place throughout 2023, with some key issues including innovative sourcing of funds, financial mobilization pathways, and payment responsibilities for loss and damage, among many other themes.
As an international youth coalition, we know that financial institutions have a significant role to play in mobilizing finances for the new LDF, ensuring sustainable finance and equitable access to those most in need. In the lead-up to these spring meetings, we reiterate that the IMF and the WBG must play a significant role in operationalizing the LDF and promoting transparency in the process. The IMF and the WBG must listen to science. In cooperation, we, the LDYC, are willing to uplift and highlight our loss and damage demands in your decision-making processes.
To that end, the LDYC demands:
- Multi-sectorial and interinstitutional support to operationalize the LDF. This approach is essential to ensure the mobilization of the necessary financial resources and ensure transparent management of the fund.
- Drastic financial system transformation to support a greener and more sustainable economy. The financial system needs to align with our strongest climate ambitions; it requires full international cooperation across countries.
- High-income countries stepping up to support the total and just transformation needed to tackle the climate crisis. Developed countries must be held accountable for their historical contributions to the climate crisis. This includes reversed financial flows towards those who suffer most from the climate crisis despite causing it least while also combatting global inequality.
- An increase in financial resources for developing countries to support a rapid transition to a sustainable economy and to phase out harmful finance which does not benefit people and the environment. Above all, we must replace the current financial structures that reproduce colonial structures with a people-centered and human rights-based approach supportive of the most vulnerable to the climate crisis.
- Debt justice and cancellation be prioritized by the IMF and WBG. Developing countries most vulnerable to the impacts of climate change should not pay for the crises they have contributed to the least. Instead, the polluters, who have caused the most damage, must be held accountable and made to pay for their actions. Taxing polluters and canceling all debts is a just and fair way to provide reparation.
The LDYC, as an international youth coalition, calls on greater inclusion of civil society organizations and youth participation in decision-making processes within international institutions. Intergenerational equity and empowerment are essential for a successful and meaningful just transition.
The Loss and Damage Youth Coalition!