Loss and Damage Youth Coalition (LDYC)
Youth organizations from around the world are urging governments to prioritize Loss and Damage (L&D) in the upcoming COP26 negotiations and to redirect global public finance to those countries in the Global South and frontline communities that are disproportionately affected by climate change impacts.
October 25, 2021 – “The IPCC report from August 2021 has sounded an alarm on what scientists and climate advocates have known for years: that human influence has unequivocally warmed the planet, and that climate-induced Loss and Damage will become even more severe and frequent in the coming years.” As the UNFCCC Conference of Parties (COP26) approaches, youth from around the world are urging wealthy countries to stop obstructing progress on Loss and Damage and to take immediate measures to make it a permanent agenda item in all UNFCCC negotiations. Their demands are the following:
1. Stop the delay, denial, and blocking of progress – act now on loss and damage!
2. Make loss and damage a priority at COP26 by appointing an L&D Champion.
3. Pledge a trillion dollars in finance for loss and damage over the next five years.
4. Tax big polluters to pay for loss and damage. Operationalise a Santiago Network on L&D that works for the people.
5. Centre youth voices in L&D negotiations by setting a youth advisory committee.
“Loss and Damage is the big climate injustice for our generation”, said Ineza Umuhoza Grace, Co-Director of LDYC. “Addressing L&D is neither a charity, or development opportunity for vulnerable communities, it is a means to ensure that we have access to a stable future. History knows who broke the harmony of our planet, so today we simply claim and demand climate justice for all.”
With these Youth Demands for COP26, global youth are urging Parties to “ensure that the Santiago Network is operationalised in a just and equitable way that provides timely and adequate technical assistance, knowledge and resources on the ground to countries and communities particularly vulnerable to L&D impacts”.
Youth groups are also urging the UK COP26 Presidency to appoint an L&D champion to “create space for discussion and action addressing the needs of Global South countries” and “frontline communities most affected by climate change”. They demand that voices of global youth, especially those historically marginalized, should be centred in L&D negotiations through the creation of a UNFCCC youth advisory committee on L&D.
Moreover, this youth call demands that wealthy governments pledge “a trillion dollars in finance for Loss and Damage over the next five years” in the form of grants, and separate from the public funding necessary for climate adaptation and development. “Global South countries, which have done the least to cause the climate crisis, are hit the hardest by climate change impacts and driven deeper into vulnerability, poverty and debt,” said Kevin Mtai, a member of LDYC. “The financial support and action towards climate change mitigation and adaptation are too little to respond to the climate emergency and increasing climate-related Loss and Damage.”
Finally, these demands call for the taxation of big polluters, which are the most responsible for the climate and ecological crises, to pay for Loss and Damage. “As part of a just transition away from fossil fuels, governments must tax fossil fuel companies on every unit of fossil fuel extracted,” youth groups say in their statement.
These demands for COP26 were presented by the Loss and Damage Youth Coalition, an alliance of youth from the Global South and North who have come together to demand action on addressing Loss and Damage caused by climate change. The coalition strives to build the organisational capacity of global youth on Loss and Damage and to promote youth participation in decision-making around this issue.
Loss and Damage Youth Coalition Contact:
Sadie DeCoste and Ineza Umuhoza Grace,Co-Directors of Loss and Damage Youth Coalition