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Youth Coalition to Wealthy Nations Ahead of COP28: Stop Blocking Loss & Damage Fund – and Don’t Place it Under World Bank

Members of the Loss and Damage Youth Coalition (LDYC). Courtesy Photo

The Loss and Damage Youth Coalition (LDYC) has sent a clear message to wealthy nations regarding climate action financing ahead of the 28th session of the Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP28) UAE happening at Expo City Dubai from November 30 to December 12, 2023.

LDYC, an international youth coalition with over 900 members in more than 70 countries, has urged parties at the fifth meeting of the Transitional Committee 5 (TC5) in Abu Dhabi, to “prioritize principles of justice, equity, common but differentiated responsibility, and common interest in discussions on loss and damage.”

According to the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP), loss and damage refers to the negative consequences that arise from the unavoidable risks of climate change, like rising sea levels, prolonged heatwaves, desertification, the acidification of the sea and extreme events, such as bushfires, species extinction and crop failures – and these consequences are expected to become more severe as the climate crisis worsens.

A key success from COP27, news of the establishment of a Loss and Damage Fund was welcome for activists who had been pushing for the same for many years. The fund is expected to offer financial assistance to developing countries which are at high risk of being severely battered by the impact of climate change.

A huge chunk of the money going to the Loss and Damage Fund is expected to come from the G20 countries which are responsible for the emission of a significant amount of greenhouse gasses fanning the climate crisis.

The implication of such emissions and the climate crisis is that developing countries like those in Africa will suffer the brunt of the crisis and will have to commit huge portions of their budgets to mitigate or respond the effects of floods, droughts and crop failures.

The youth coalition was unequivocal in its calls on wealthy nations of the world to “to stop hindering the swift setup of the Loss and Damage Fund and its funding plans.”

In their call, the young people went on to note that the recent transitional committee (TC4) revealed “significant disagreements” on the set up of the Loss and Damage Fund.

The coalition has also insisted that the fund should be put under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) – instead of running it under the World Bank – and seeing to it that the financial assistance that will be given to developing countries is “new, reliable, and grant-based.”

“The Loss and Damage Fund must be established as a new and independent entity under the UNFCCC. The World Bank is not a suitable host for the loss and damage fund because it cannot ensure the principles of justice and equity that the fund should embody,” the coalition said in a statement.

The LDYC added that now was the right time to act.

“As we move into the end of TC5, we urge world leaders and policymakers to recognize the unique opportunity they have to restore hope for effective climate action by making sure the Loss and Damage Fund is fully operational at COP 28,” the coalition continued.

“Decision 2/CP.27, which established new funding arrangements for Loss and Damage at COP 27, marked a crucial moment in history that we can’t afford to mess up, especially after decades of government and institutional failures to address the climate crisis.”

The youths were also optimistic that making the Loss and Damage Fund as well as its funding plans operational would present the world an opportunity to “support justice and fairness and ensure that those most affected by climate change are not left behind as a sign of global solidarity for the planet and its people.”

They went on to note that the Fund would “correct the course of a history full of empty climate promises and roadblocks” and “make necessary changes to the global financial system, as recognized by global leaders during the summit for a new financial pact in Paris in June 2023.”

The coalition has also demanded that civil society organizations especially those led by women, youth, indigenous peoples, and frontline communities should play “a significant role in decision-making regarding the loss and damage fund to ensure inclusivity and accessibility for frontline communities and grassroots organizations.”

They also want participants at COP28 to ensure that the Loss and Damage Fund does “incorporate human rights as a guiding principle to protect the basic human rights of communities in the context of increasing climate-induced loss and damage.”

Meanwhile, uncomfortable debates expected at COP28 in Dubai as world leaders are set to discuss impact of climate change on global security. (See Details Here).

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