Dear Chris Bowen,
At COP 28, Australia has an opportunity to act ambitiously by making a significant investment in a global loss and damage fund, with specific emphasis on safeguarding the rights of children who are disproportionately impacted by climate disasters.
As a wealthy country which has contributed disproportionately to global warming, the Australian government has a responsibility to support countries, particularly in our region, who are bearing the brunt of the climate crisis. The climate crisis is making it harder for children, especially girls, all around the world to get the education they need to be prepared for the future. This fund will help ensure countries can rebuild schools and other vital infrastructure after disasters, and help prevent further losses to cultural life, traditional knowledge, health and wellbeing.
Through supporting and investing in a global loss and damage fund, we can do our part to support communities around the world who face the irreversible and life-altering impacts of climate change that cannot be avoided, and which go beyond what people and communities can adapt to.
I urge you to show your commitment to global climate justice by making a significant contribution to the global loss and damage fund.
We can be the generation that invests to protect people and the planet. Can we count on you to advance climate justice through a global loss and damage fund at COP 28?
From November 30, world leaders, ministers and negotiators will gather at the global United Nations Climate Change Conference, COP 28, to agree on how to address climate change.
Youth activists from Plan International Australia will be there, calling on world leaders, including our Environment Minister Chris Bowen, to invest in a global loss and damage fund that addresses the disproportionate impacts of climate change on children and girls.
The climate crisis is not gender neutral, impacting girls first and worst, particularly those in low-income countries where communities are experiencing the most severe impacts of the climate crisis daily.
Left unchecked, these crises will escalate to catastrophe.
It is unacceptable for countries who have contributed least to climate change to bear the brunt of climate impacts, including the loss of life, land and culture, as well as damage to schools, homes, hospitals and infrastructure.
Climate justice means that girls can go to school, be safe, live with dignity, and decide their own futures. Will you stand with young people in calling on our Environment Minister, Chris Bowen, to invest in a global loss and damage fund?
What is loss and damage?
Loss and damage refer to the destructive impacts of climate change that cannot be avoided and go beyond what people and communities can adapt to. It can also refer to a community’s lack of access to funds or resources in a community to deal with loss and damage.
Loss refers to consequences that are irreparable, such as loss of life, biodiversity, cultural heritage, and Indigenous knowledge. Damage speaks to the consequences that can either be restored or repaired – for example, houses, schools, hospitals, roads, and bridges.
For Our Futures: Youth Voices on Climate Justice and Education
The climate crisis is not gender neutral. It is impacting girls first and worst, particularly in the poorest countries which are the least responsible for climate change. Internationally, there is a growing body of evidence around how climate change is impacting girls and their education. In the next two years, it is predicted that more than 12.5 million girls may be prevented from completing their schooling each year, because of climate change. However, investing in girls’ education is one of the most powerful, and often overlooked, solutions to improving a country’s climate resilience.
For Our Futures: Youth Voices on Climate Justice and Education engaged 30 young change makers across Australia, Indonesia and Nepal using a Feminist Participatory Action Approach to co-research the impact of climate change on girls’ right to an education. The approach included training and equipping young people with the skills to advocate for change. This took place over six online cross-country workshops and ongoing in-country engagement with youth activists.
Want to learn more? Read our latest climate change report.