The Loss and Damage Youth Coalition Announces Its Demands for COP28 at the New York Global Citizen Festival

A concise summary of the essential actions needed to tackle climate-induced loss and damage at COP28

September 24, 2023 – During the Global Citizen festival in New York, Grace Ineza, the Global Coordinator at the Loss and Damage Youth Coalition, representing more than 900 young people from over 70 countries, unveiled a succinct and accessible 10-point set of demands on measures urgently required to address the negative impacts of the climate crisis (i.e. loss and damage). These demands give decision-makers and world leaders a clear understanding of global youth expectations in the lead-up to COP28 in Dubai. 

At COP28, the coalition urges the swift establishment of the Loss and Damage Fund, a pivotal initiative to deliver vital support to communities most severely impacted by climate change. This fund must be an autonomous entity, unburdened by debt and generously augmented with additional financial resources. Simultaneously, the Santiago Network (SNLD) should operate independently, with esteemed organizations such as the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction and the United Nations Office for Project Services serving as its custodians, ensuring sufficient financial resources for nations grappling climate-induced setbacks.

Moreover, it is imperative to establish a new climate financial goal that truly reflects the needs and concerns of frontline communities, as the prior target of 100 Billion dollars proved insufficient. Additionally, the coalition advocates for the inclusion of ‘Loss and Damage’ as a distinct category in the Global Stocktake (GST), guaranteeing the attention it rightfully merits. Furthermore, there should be a resolute emphasis on climate adaptation, with National Adaptation Plans (NAPs) receiving transparent, accessible, and substantial financial support, all while actively involving youth in forging a resilient future.

The coalition also calls for a substantial increase in youth representation, particularly in discussions concerning ‘loss and damage,’ to empower individuals to engage in climate action through information and active participation. Transparency is considered paramount, and the coalition insists on mandatory ‘loss and damage’ reports from all nations, fostering openness and accountability. Emissions trading under Article 6 must prioritize the well-being of our planet, serving as a prime opportunity to support ‘loss and damage’ initiatives. As we transition towards a sustainable future, equity for all takes centre stage, necessitating clear definitions to support vulnerable nations—a process that should be inclusive, considering perspectives from youth, children, women, and marginalized groups in ‘loss and damage’ decisions and actions.

Young people from all around the globe are invited to lend their signatures to these demands using the provided link, thereby adding their voices to an international movement committed to achieving meaningful climate justice.

Hailey Campbell, USA, Founder of Care About Climate 

Behind every dollar needed, extreme climate events and climate negotiations are lives – children lost to floods in Libya, elderly people lost in the Hawai’i wildfires, and many more in 2023 alone. In addition to fulfilling commitments to the Loss and Damage Fund, COP28 must deliver on an equitable fossil fuel phaseout to reduce the potential for catastrophic losses and damages in the decades to come. 

Umuhoza Grace Ineza, Rwanda, Co-founder of the Loss and Damage Youth Coalition

“No more lies or empty promises are left to sell. We know that fossil fuels fueled the climate crisis, and the extent of climate inaction caused and is still causing irreversible and reversible impacts on the planet and its inhabitants daily.  For the first time, we fully know what needs to be done: youth, women, children, frontline community, everyone is coming together to demand  “Loss and Damage Finance Now!”. This battle started when many of us weren’t born or able to be active stakeholders in climate action. An era passed, things changed, and NOW we are carefully monitoring to ensure that the Loss and Damage Fund is fully operational at COP 28 and will be fit for purpose with the ability to respond to the climate crisis by avoiding all forms of injustice.”

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About the Loss and Damage Youth Coalition

The Loss & Damage Youth Coalition (LDYC) is a global coalition of young activists, researchers, and working professionals from the Global South and North advocating for increased public awareness and ambitious action on loss and damage (L&D) issues. The L.D.Y.C. has over 900 members from 70+ countries working together to empower frontline communities and voices.  In line with its mission, the LDYC specializes in training and sending youth delegations to UNFCCC sessions, delivering capacity-building sessions on L&D, showcasing personal youth stories from the frontlines, and addressing the gaps in L&D research.

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