Challenging Injustice, Advancing Human Rights

The Unitarian Universalist Service Committee advances human rights through grassroots collaborations.

UUSC’s Partners will #CoOptCOP

The international conference will provide an opportunity for civil society organizations to call attention to the climate injustices that are happening on a global scale.

The annual Conference of Parties (COP) is an opportunity for nations to come together to discuss the most pressing climate issues of our time. This space, usually held in November, is dedicated to bringing together policy experts, scientists, elected officials, advocates, activists, and other vital stakeholders to discuss solutions to the climate crisis. 

Unfortunately, the nations currently living with the most pressing impacts of climate change are often not centered in the vital discussions impacting the collective response to the crisis. At UUSC, we work with partners in those countries to ensure that they have an active and robust presence at COP—we help them gain access to decision making spaces to share their lived experiences and offer commonsense and equitable solutions. 

This year, UUSC is supporting nine organizations in attending COP. UUSC will also be supporting the creation of seven side events at COP this year to bring together faith leaders and climate activists in a shared space to strategize solutions around the crisis. For example, on December 4, UUSC Director of Advocacy, Global Displacement Salote Soqo will be participating in a side event on feminist leadership in the climate justice movement.

UUSC partners have a brief, but important list of demands for leaders at COP this year and their demands are FAIR: 

Fund Loss and Damage Initiatives 

  • High carbon gas-emitting nations should make new and additional contributions to the Loss and Damage Fund
    • The United States should take responsibility as the world’s highest emitter and provide $100 million to the fund by the end of 2023 
    • The United States should honor the fact that Indigenous communities across the nation have been dealing with the climate crisis for decades with insufficient resources from the federal government. This has left these communities in a humanitarian crisis

Assess Progress Towards Climate Success

  • Abide by the rules of the Global Stocktake (GST) process, ensuring that the United States is meeting its global obligation to limit global warming by 1.5°C by the end of the century (as per The Paris Agreement)
  • Allow the public to engage in open dialogue around the climate crisis and truthfully assess what’s needed to protect our planet over a three-year period 
  • Phase out fossil fuels 

Increase Funding for Adaptation and Mitigation Activities 

  • Work collaboratively across nations to ensure that regions and locales around the world are equitably accessing funds to adapt to and mitigate the impacts of climate change 

Raise Equity and Justice as Pivotal for Adaptation Frameworks

  • For nations at risk of dealing with climate change impacts, ensure that justice and equity guide any frameworks for helping their peoples to adapt in place
  • Specific climate-vulnerable populations—LGBTQI+ people, elders, Indigenous Peoples, women, children, people with disabilities, etc.—should be given priority in adaptation strategies and a voice in how those strategies are executed 
  • Align adaptation investment goals with those of mitigation investment goals so there is equity between both funding strategies 

Image Credit: U.S. Department of State