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Urge Presidential Climate Envoy John Kerry: Lead with Equity for the Loss and Damage Fund

Envoy Kerry Climate Justice

Update (1/18/24): On January 13, John Kerry announced his stepping down as the U.S. Climate Envoy. UUSC will continue its advocacy work with regards to loss and damage funding despite this announcement and as plans are made to replace Kerry, we will update our followers with new developments.

Loss and Damage funding is still critical for many communities across the world and the needs of those communities persist. We will continue to advocate with those in power—in the United States and abroad—to ensure that those communities receive the resources they need to adequately address the incalculable amounts of loss and damage they are experiencing daily.

At last year’s COP27, world leaders recognized the urgency of climate change, pledging to establish a Loss and Damage Fund for those least responsible yet most affected by climate disasters. As COP28 approaches from November 30 to December 12, the United States at this pivotal moment, holds significant influence over the future of this fund. With the potential for the World Bank to oversee the fund, there is a risk of perpetuating existing inequities that disadvantage the Global South.

Unitarian Universalist Service Committee alongside our grassroots climate justice partners are advocating for a fund rooted in human rights and equitable support. We are committed to transforming the Loss and Damage Fund into a symbol of unity and fairness, offering direct, unrestricted aid to communities in need.

At COP28 it is imperative that the promises made are not empty ones. Communities are watching as their homes disappear into the sea, storms demolish their sacred sites, and saltwater contaminates their freshwater and crops. These are the voices we amplify — voices of Indigenous Peoples and those who shoulder our warming planet’s heaviest burdens, despite contributing the least to the crisis.

Note: This petition is being updated in real-time based on the needs of UUSC’s partners. There will be certain additions to the petition to reflect new developments based on the evolving needs of UUSC’s partners.

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Join us in a critical movement to influence climate policy as we appeal to Presidential Climate Envoy John Kerry. We’re campaigning for the United States to lead in establishing and operationalizing the Loss and Damage Fund, as promised in previous climate summits. This fund is essential—it’s about providing financial support and recovery resources to the countries and communities most affected by climate change, especially those who have contributed least to the global emissions causing this crisis.

We call on John Kerry to guide the U.S. in supporting a Loss and Damage Fund that is independent and equitable, ensuring that the voices and rights of grassroots communities are not just heard but are the cornerstone of its operations. This fund must represent a break from the past, moving away from donor-dominated structures to one that symbolizes unity and delivers direct, debt-free support.

Polski