Youth at COP27 insist on payment for loss and damage

In the final hours of the formal final day of the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP27) in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt, global youth groups including YOUNGO and Fridays for Future have demanded that polluting nations agree to pay for loss and damage.

At a press conference held at the Children and Youth Pavilion at the COP27 venue, Alexia Leclercq, a 22-year-old grassroots environmental justice organiser from the US, said: “It is historic that loss and damage are on the agenda, but that is not enough if there are no actions taken. This is why we are convened together to demand a loss and damage finance facility during this COP.”

She added that “The bare minimum of $100 billion of climate finance per year has to be delivered and extended. Year by year of rising emissions, the funding has to increase to $600 billion, which currently is the material cost of the climate crisis, and does not even take into account the culture and lives that have been taken away.

Fatemah Sultan from Pakistan, a member of Fridays For Future, said: “Coming from a developing nation-state as a young voice, we, as the global youth, stand with the most impacted communities across the global south and global north to demand polluters to pay for loss & damage.

“We are specifically supporting a funding facility to finally start implementing the necessary accountability measures. Loss and damage are reparations for the inaction of the past. Climate finance is for continued action in cities like mine in the present and the future.”

Skw’akw’as Lillian Dunstan from Canada, of the Videa and Environment Climate Change Youth Council, added her voice to the call.

She said, “I am Skw’akw’as Lillian a Nlakapamux and Yakama youth from Tlkemstin, also known as Lytton, British Columbia in so-called Canada.

“Indigenous communities in so-called Canada are the most vulnerable to climate crisis-related disasters, but with the colonial structures that uphold the systemic oppression of Indigenous Peoples, we are often left waiting too long for help.

“The past two weeks I have watched global Indigenous Youth have the strength, power, and bravery to speak, to be loud, and demand to be heard within an unsafe colonial space. United with our non-Indigenous allies we are no longer waiting. No longer accepting empty promises and empty commitments. We will be loud, we will challenge, and we will demand accountability.”

So far according to the latest draft cover text as of press time, negotiators at COP27 are yet to reach an agreement on loss and damage due to push-back from rich nations.

This story was produced as part of the 2022 Climate Change Media Partnership, a journalism fellowship organized by Internews’ Earth Journalism Network and the Stanley Center for Peace and Security.



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