Ahead of Loss & Damage Action Day, on the 22nd September, UK organizations signed an Open Letter to Prime Minister Liz Truss on climate-induced loss and damage
We, the undersigned organisations, representing civil society, faith communities and youth activists from the UK and around the world, are writing to ask you to act on loss and damage from climate change ahead of the upcoming international climate talks (COP27) in Egypt. Mobilising finance to address loss and damage caused by climate change is essential for countries and communities on the frontlines of the climate crisis. This is crucial to maintaining trust and solidarity between Global North and Global South countries, and to fulfilling the Glasgow Climate Pact.
The need for loss and damage finance has never been so clear.
Countries in the Horn of Africa are experiencing the worst drought in 40 years, with 18 million people facing extreme hunger and 1.5 million people who have been displaced. Catastrophic flooding in Pakistan has caused the relocation of 33 million people and resulted in over $30 billion in economic losses.
Even in the UK, more than 60 homes were destroyed by fires during the Summer’s record-breaking heatwaves. The number of people suffering these impacts is predicted to increase. According to the IPCC, between 3.3 and 3.6 billion people are living in areas highly vulnerable to climate change.
Nobody is immune from the climate crisis, but right now it is the poorest communities least responsible for climate change who are bearing the brunt. Measures taken by those with the greatest responsibility, including the UK, have not been sufficient to prevent loss and damage. Meanwhile, the fossil fuel companies driving global heating continue to make vast profits. In just the first three months of 2022, 28 of the world’s largest oil and gas producers reported profits of more than $93 billion.
By significantly increasing taxes on these profits, so that the polluters pay for the damage they are causing, the UK government could deliver financial resources to the communities rebuilding or relocating in response to climate impacts around the world. It could also help fund a mass programme of home insulation to reduce energy use here in the UK.
On 22nd September, civil society groups in the UK and around the world will take action to call for loss and damage finance, commemorating the lives and livelihoods lost and urging Parliament to back the calls for a Loss and Damage Finance Facility. The following day, the Fridays for Future global climate strike will also call for finance for loss and damage.
With the launch of your premiership, and with the legacy of the UK’s COP presidency at stake, you have an opportunity to raise international ambition and show true global leadership by declaring the UK government’s support for a Loss and Damage Finance Facility at COP27.
Patrick Watt, Chief Executive Officer of Christian Aid
Dr. Danny Sriskandarajah, Chief Executive Officer of Oxfam GB
Gwen Hines, Chief Executive Officer of Save the Children UK
John Good, Acting Chief Executive Officer of ActionAid UK
Asad Rehman, Executive Director of War on Want
Olivia Fuchs, Chairperson of Eco Dharma Network
Elizabeth Slade, Chief Officer of the General Assembly of Unitarian and Free Christian Churches
Nick Dearden, Director of Global Justice Now
Shanon Shah, Director of Faith for the Climate
Heidi Chow, Executive Director of Debt Justice
Jamie Cresswell, Director of the Centre for Applied Buddhism
Kamran Shezad, Director of the Islamic Foundation for Ecology & Environmental Sciences
Saif Ahmad, Chief Executive Officer of the Bahu Trust
Avnish Thakrar, National Coordinator of Hindu Climate Action
David Hillman, Director of Stamp Out Poverty
Zehrah Hasan, Advocacy Director of the Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants
Tessa Khan, Executive Director of Uplift
Gabriel Davalos, Campaigner for Stop Cambo
Ruth Walters, Chairperson of Young Christian Climate Network
Carlota Sanz Ruiz, Co-Founder and Strategy Lead of Doughnut Economics Action Lab (DEAL)
Paul Parker, Recording Clerk of Quakers in Britain
Dr. Stuart Parkinson, Executive Director of Scientists for Global Responsibility (SGR)
Revd Dr Darrell D Hannah, Chair of Operation Noah
Dr Rose Drew, Chief Executive Officer of Interfaith Glasgow