Another year of dangerous heat waves and related crises across the globe highlights the urgent need to resolve the issue of Loss and Damage financing and implementation. A new study in the journal Climatic Change, according to an AP News press release, states that five of the world’s biggest emitters – the US, China, India, Russia and Brazil – cost the world some $6tn in gross domestic product (GDP) over 25 years (1990-2014). Quantifying the damage already caused helps to build the case for Loss and Damage restitution. 

An excerpt from the recent Citizens’ Climate International newsletter states that….

The climate crisis is rapidly intensifying. The costs of climate impacts are adding up, much faster than reserve financial holdings are prepared to withstand. It is estimated unchecked climate change will cost $178 trillion in losses and opportunity costs over the next five decades.

In June, while the world debated how to respond to loss and damage from human-caused climate change, the United States was struck by six natural disasters in one day. The financial, insurance, and emergency response measures we have now are not adequate for any country to fully overcome the escalating cost and risk of climate emergency……….

The debate around loss and damage often misses the fact that communities, countries, and regions affected by slow-moving or shock climate impacts need support to overcome those impacts. Loss and damage finance should provide that leverage for overcoming loss and damage, so affected countries and communities can rise above the baseline of resilience and build a climate-safe future…….

The Loss and Damage Youth coalition (LDYC) has written an open letter to the COP27 Presidency and is asking for youth (people under 35) to show their support by signing. LYDC points out that…..

 Poor communities in the developing countries are already suffering devastation from  the impacts of the climate crisis. For far too long, efforts to reduce emissions and scale up adaptation have been utterly inadequate exceeding people’s ability to adapt. Therefore, loss and damage is now part of the reality of climate change and must be addressed. This year vulnerable communities worldwide have already experienced a dire impacts of climate change. Tropical storm Ana wreaked havoc in Malawi, causing flooding, destruction, and many fatalities. In total 995,072 people were affected, 46 people lost their lives, and 206 people were injured. Cyclone Batsirai struck Madagascar in February of this year, killing 120 people, destroying over 124,000 homes, and displacing an additional 30,000 people. In April 2022, heavy rainfall hit two provinces in South Africa, KwaZulu-Natal and Eastern Cape killing 443 people, with over 40,000 reported missing and more than 40,000 people been displaced. The floods also destroyed or damaged 4,000 homes .

Their main demands are that:

  • Loss and Damage finance mobilisation and the assessment process mechanism must be forthcoming at COP27.
  • Loss and Damage should be a permanent agenda item at all UNFCCC negotiations.
  • There should be a Youth Advisory Committee on Loss and Damage which will formulate a clear non-tokenistic approach to youth action in addressing climate change impacts and their participation in the decision making process on the national and international levels.
  • The new Global Stocktake Mechanism which analyses the actions taken to meet Paris Agreement demands should address Loss and Damage.
  • The COP27 Presidency should meet with the LDYC:  On the road to COP 27 which is not only an African COP but also a COP for global solidarity, we request a meeting with the COP 27 Presidency. The meeting will serve to help the coalition explain the gaps and our demands from COP 27 and also how we as youths can support the COP 27 presidency to deliver a successful COP for all. Today climate inaction and apathy of the global process is doing injustice to our planet affecting those who did less contribution exponentially. We can all take the path toward a shared hope today.

If you are able, do consider supporting the LYDC open letter.