Open Letter to US Government

LDYC has drafted a letter to the US government with our demands on Loss and Damage. If you are a young person or youth-led organization, please sign and share the letter at this link.


Dear President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris,

Dear Presidential Envoy John Kerry,

Dear United States Congress, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer,

The climate crisis is already causing severe impacts, leading to the loss of lives and livelihoods, and damage to homes, schools, roads, and hospitals. This loss and damage is occurring around the world, but disproportionately affects those who did the least to cause it — vulnerable people, communities and countries in the Global South.

In 2020, we saw some of the most severe climate impacts on record. In just a span of three weeks, Typhoons Molave, Goni, and Vamco hit the Philippines with extreme winds and floods, displacing hundreds of thousands of Filipinos and increasing their risk of contracting COVID-19. Hurricanes Eta and Iota hit Central America in short succession, causing flooding, landslides, and more than 200 deaths. Within a period of two months, the Pacific islands saw at least four tropical cyclones, including Cyclone Yasa, one of the most intense storms on record for the region, destroying homes and crops in Fiji. Droughts in Southern Africa left 9.6 million people hungry. Australia experienced unusually severe wildfires which killed almost three billion animals. The US is not immune to loss and damage either; it faces increasingly active Atlantic hurricane seasons, flooding in the Midwest (the nation’s breadbasket), intensifying wildfires on the West Coast, and extreme weather events like the Texas freeze.

Researchers have warned that storms, floods, and other extreme weather events will continue hitting the planet more frequently. The most vulnerable people are facing grave devastation, including displacement from their homes and communities. The COVID-19 pandemic and related economic crises make it even more difficult to cope with climate-induced disasters. In the face of these issues, we need to protect people’s rights to live in a safe climate, to meet their basic needs, and to migrate freely and safely when they want or need to. 

Yet governments around the world are ignoring the scale of the problem. Despite having its own article in the Paris Agreement, and its own mechanism in the UNFCCC, loss and damage still does not have its own dedicated stream of climate finance. Developed countries, who fuelled the climate crisis through decades of willful negligence and inaction, have done very little to help the billions of people in developing countries who suffer the effects of loss and damage. 

As youth from around the world, we demand an end to inaction on climate-induced loss and damage. We are the generation that has to deal with more frequent and severe climate impacts than ever. Those of us in the Global South are already bearing the brunt of it. Our children will face disasters at a scale we have never seen before. 

The US has polluted the most greenhouse gases of any country on earth. It continues to be one of the biggest polluters. The US government is also among the most influential in the world. Despite its outsize contribution to the climate crisis, the US government has historically blocked the provision of finance and support for developing countries experiencing loss and damage from climate change. The US government’s inaction and blocking continues to cause harm to poor and oppressed peoples around the world. A lack of finance for loss and damage also endangers the future of young people and future generations. But the new US administration, given its commitment to taking meaningful climate action, has the potential to mitigate some of this harm — if it is willing to step up and provide finance and support for loss and damage in developing nations. It must also use its position as a global superpower to influence other wealthy nations to do the same.

For these reasons, we have the following demands:

  1. Honour the rights of young people and future generations by prioritizing action on loss and damage.
  2. Champion the establishment of a new window of additional finance for loss and damage.
  3. Make a substantial commitment of climate finance to the above-mentioned loss and damage finance window. This should start with a commitment of $10 billion and increase annually according to the US’ fair share of global loss and damage finance need.
  4. Commit to making loss and damage decision-making inclusive by including youth and other oppressed peoples in policymaking.
  5. Meet with youth from the Loss and Damage Youth Coalition to discuss how the US, and other developed countries, will take action and provide finance for loss and damage.

For the sake of our generation, and the generations to follow, we demand that the US government put an end to inaction on loss and damage.

Signed,

The Loss and Damage Youth Coalition

and

Groups/Organizations

  1. Dhrubotara Youth Development Foundation, Bangladesh
  2. The Green Fighter, Rwanda
  3. Youth of Guinea for Climate, Guinea
  4. African Network of Young Leaders for Peace and Sustainable Development, Cameroon
  5. Gatef organizations, Egypt
  6. Collectif des Leaders pour le Développement durable d’Afrique, Côte d’Ivoire
  7. Youth for Challenge, Benin
  8. Jeunes volontaires pour l’environnement (JVE-Mali), Mali
  9. YouthNet for Climate Justice, Bangladesh
  10. NGO 350 Côte D’Ivoire
  11. Thepostman24 news agency, Bangladesh
  12. Youth For Environment Education And Development Foundation (YFEED Foundation), Nepal
  13. Association des Citoyens pour le Développement Durable en Haïti (ACIDDUH), Haiti
  14. Youth Foundation of Bangladesh
  15. Boy Brigade Nigeria
  16. Helping Hand International, Nepal
  17. Fridays for future Mendoza, Argentina
  18. Project Survival Pacific, Fiji
  19. Klima Action Malaysia – KAMY
  20. African Leaders Factory Initiative, Senegal
  21. Pacific Islands Students Fighting Climate Change, Vanuatu, Solomon Islands, Tonga and Fiji
  22. Voice Of Hope Youth Organization, Sierra Leone
  23. Tuvalu Climate Action Network
  24. Relawan Gerak Indonesia
  25. YOUNGO UNFCCC Youth Constituency
  26. Human Dignity and Environmental care Foundation (HUDEFO), Tanzania
  27. Wings for Amazon, Ecuador
  28. Presentation Sisters in Ireland and the UK
  29. Commonwealth Youth Climate Change Network (CYCN)
  30. Sustainable Beekeeping and Human Development (SuBeHuDe)
  31. Heal The Planet Global Organisation – HTP, Uganda
  32. Morya Samajik Pratishthan, India
  33. Women Rights & Sustainable Society, Nigeria
  34. LIMA Résilience, Democratic Republic of the Congo
  35. Timorese Youth Initiative for Development (TYIFD) Youth group, Timor-Leste
  36. University Student Chamber International, Japan
  37. Green Planet, India
  38. Réseau Climat Des Jeunes Du Sud Sahara (RECJESS)
  39. Alliance for Future Generations – Fiji
  40. Annapurna Deaf Association, Nepal
  41. Alliance for Empowering Rural Communities, Ghana
  42. Organic Ilemba Limited, Kenya
  43. Kenya Environmental Action Network (KEAN)
  44. Fridays for Future Kenya
  45. One Up Action Kenya

Individuals

  1. Mehedi Janet, Bangladesh, Dhrubotara Youth Development Foundation
  2. Hyacinthe Niyitegeka, Rwanda, The Green Fighter Rwanda/ Loss and Damage Youth Coalition 
  3. Elhadj Abdoul Diallo, Guinea, Loss and Damage Youth Coalition & Youth of Guinea for Climate
  4. Ineza Umuhoza Grace, Rwanda, The Green Fighter
  5. Erol Apo Villacorta, The Philippines, Loss and Damage Youth Coalition
  6. Eva Peace Mukayiranga, Rwanda, The Green Fighter
  7. Dom Jaramillo, Ecuador
  8. Brennan Strandberg-Salmon, Canada, BCCIC Climate Change
  9. Eva Vazquez, Spain, Loss and Damage Youth Coalition
  10. Anna Di Girolamo, Italy, Loss and Damage Youth Coalition
  11. Atef Soliman, Egypt, Gatef organizations
  12. Concorde Kubwimana, Rwanda, Save Environment Initiative
  13. Jin Tanaka, Japan, University Student Chamber International
  14. Mayaya K. Singu, Tanzania, Sustainable Beekeeping and Human Development (SuBeHuDe)
  15. Shital Birajdar, India, MSRTC
  16. Kivumbi Earnest Benjamin, Uganda, Heal The Planet Global Organisation – HTP
  17. Ganesh Ambike, India
  18. Magdaline Boniphace, Tanzania
  19. Amina Sani, Nigeria
  20. Alejandro Jaimes Bahamon, Colombia, FFF Bogotá
  21. Mohammed Naif Alghodhaifi, Yemen
  22. Bahati Kalimbiro Bertin, Democratic Republic of the Congo
  23. Osckin Gankoue, Republic of Congo
  24. Etuknwa Itorobong Raphael, Nigeria, Raph Foods Limited / Ralph Berry Enterprise
  25. Saoirse Exton, Ireland, Australia, Fridays for Future, YOUNGO
  26. Tristan Ward, Barbados
  27. Dircia Sarmento Belo, Timor-Leste, Timorese Youth Initiative for Development
  28. Wid Ammar Mohsin, Iraq/Yemen
  29. Ahmed Pathan, India, Green Planet
  30. Lavetanalagi Seruiraduvatu, Fiji, Alliance for Future Generations – Fiji
  31. Bishwamitra BHitrakoti, Nepal
  32. H.E Amb. Ibrahim Alpha Moigua, Sierra Leone, Save the children, Plan international, Voice Of Hope Youth Organization International
  33. Munyaneza Derrick Bonheur, Rwanda
  34. Akura Bemgba James, Nigeria, Gig & Bites Resources
  35. Prashant Mohesh, Mauritius, World Wide Fund for Nature
  36. Yashvita Singh Chauhan, India, YOUNGO
  37. Serge Christophe Abouna Ova’a, Cameroon, Réseau Climat Des Jeunes Du Sud Sahara ( RECJESS)
  38. Peterson Claude Cledanor, Haïti, Association des Citoyens pour le Développement Durable en Haïti (ACIDDUH)
  39. Richard Matey, Ghana, Alliance for Empowering Rural Communities
  40. Nesphory Mwambai, Kenya, Organic Ilemba Limited
  41. Billy Mazyopa, Zambia, Billy’s Child Welfare Foundation
  42. Sabrina Loi Xin Qi, Singapore, YOUNGO & LDYC
  43. Joy Amadi, Nigeria, YOUNGO
  44. Noah Wescombe, UK, ALLFED
  45. Benigna de Jesus Marques, East Timor, YOUNGO
  46. Genesis Whitlock, USA / Antigua
  47. Foid Ruhimbana, Rwanda
  48. Anish Shrestha, Nepal, Youth For Environment Education And Development Foundation (YFEED Foundation)
  49. Gbolagade Olajide, Nigeria, American Institute of Chemical Engineers, University of Lagos Students Chapter
  50. Birendra Rai, Nepal, HHI
  51. James Rice, USA
  52. Reynier C. Tasico, Philippines, Ma-Hop, Climate Reality Philippines, Ministry of Mapping, and YOUNGO
  53. Felicie Hoffmann, Belgium / United States, YOUNGO & CLEO
  54. Adam De Salle, Ireland
  55. Sabrina Guzman Skotnitsky, Canada
  56. Elisabeth Rieger, Germany, YOUNGO
  57. Frank Hoppe, Germany, Naturefriends
  58. Mamadou Sylla, Sénégal, LDYC
  59. Ariane Desrosiers, USA / Hong Kong / Canada
  60. Abdurrahman Labaran Inuwa, Nigeria
  61. Aoife Fleming, Netherlands, UN Youth Representative Sustainable Development for the Netherlands
  62. Isingizwe Sandra, Rwanda, LDYC
  63. Kervelle Reesa Baird, Trinidad and Tobago, LDYC
  64. Shahriar Alam, Bangladesh, thepostman24 news agency
  65. Ili Nadiah Dzulfakar, Malaysia, Klima Action Malaysia – KAMY
  66. Jessica Moh, Canada
  67. Raymond Kaggwa, Uganda
  68. Xiomara Acevedo, Colombia
  69. Paul Lodry Dongmo, Cameroon, African Network of Young Leaders for Peace and Sustainable Development
  70. Savannah Tuck, Canada, BCCIC Climate Change Branch
  71. MaryJane Enchill, Ghana
  72. Richard Gokrun, Tuvalu, TuCAN
  73. Anton Nemenzo, Philippines, YOUNGO
  74. Birahim Niang, Senegal, African Leaders Factory Initiative
  75. Hen Wood, UK
  76. Aatika Patel, Fiji
  77. Krisna Firmansyah Shalli, Indonesia, Relawan Gerak Indonesia
  78.  Sadie DeCoste, Canada/UK, LDYC
  79. Ullah Irfan, Pakistan, YOUNGO UNFCCC Youth Constituency
  80. Deborah Umucyo, Rwanda
  81. Sarah E Swiersz, USA
  82. Sarah Pima, Tanzania, Human Dignity and Environmental care Foundation (HUDEFO)
  83. Kaime Silvestre Silva Oliveira, Brazil, Tapirape Institute
  84. Darien Castro, Ecuador, Wings for Amazon
  85. Azeez Tobi Abubakar, Nigeria, Commonwealth Youth Climate Change Network (CYCN)
  86. Regina Leal Cumplido, Mexico, YOUNGO
  87. Diane Tavignot, France
  88. Sidonie Verdeil, France
  89. Basile Connan-Boulle, France, Sciences Po Environment
  90. Rohani, Indonesia
  91. Ibrahim Abdullah, Syria

Sign on to the letter here.

Sources:

Central America Hurricane: https://apnews.com/article/tegucigalpa-honduras-hurricane-iota-floods-storms-1ea056d7163e5f7792059a5909eb5811

Pacific Cyclone: https://edition.cnn.com/2020/12/17/weather/cyclone-yasa-damage-intl-hnk/index.html

Southern Africa Drought: https://reliefweb.int/disaster/dr-2018-000429-zwe

Australia Bushfires: https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2020/jul/28/almost-3-billion-animals-affected-by-australian-megafires-report-shows-aoe

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