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Advocates at COP26 Demand Real Action in Addressing the Global Impacts of Climate Change

October 31, 2021
Media Contact:
Michael Givens
Director of Strategic Communications
Unitarian Universalist Service Committee
Phone: +1-857-540-0617

Advocates at COP26 Demand Real Action in Addressing the Global Impacts of Climate Change

CAMBRIDGE, Mass.—Beginning October 31, politicians, environmental and social justice advocates, business leaders, academics and researchers, and diplomats from around the world will participate in the 26th annual Conference of the Parties (COP26), a 13-day meeting of the state parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). Participants aim to develop a set of nonbinding commitments that each government can make to address the shared global challenge of the climate crisis.

The Unitarian Universalist Service Committee (UUSC), an international human rights organization, is sending six of its partners to COP26, and they are resolute in what needs to be accomplished at the conference. All nations represented at COP should:

  1. Commit to significant reductions in greenhouse gas emissions in the medium- and long-term
  2. Provide funding to address “loss and damage,” a technical term describing the severe impacts of climate change on the natural environment, communities, and infrastructure that monetizes those impacts
  3. Prioritize resource allocation for adaptation programs that allow communities facing the impacts of climate change to develop and implement strategies that protect land, housing, and vital infrastructure in the face of slow- and rapid-onset climate events

“COP26 is important for a number of reasons,” said Salote Soqo, Director of Advocacy, Global Displacement for UUSC. It’s when countries submit their Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC), which will show what Parties will be doing in their own countries to keep global temperature increases below 1.5 degrees Celsius. It also marks the re-entry of the United States into the Paris Agreement and President Biden has made a lot of promises to lead the world in addressing the climate crisis, including his pledge to cut 50% of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 and to quadruple our contributions to global climate funds. For many developing countries, these real commitments and the political will that will be garnered at COP26 will determine their survival.”

UUSC’s partners are looking forward to advocating on behalf of nations living at the forefront of the climate crisis.

“It is critical that big ocean nations, disproportionately affected by the climate crisis, are not only present for climate negotiations, but leading them with our evidence-based demands,” said Alicia Wallace, director of UUSC partner Equality Bahamas and a COP26 attendee. “We are experiencing rapidly worsening successive climate emergencies and we, in the Caribbean and the Pacific, are already seeing what the rest of the world will face if we do not take action.”

Pierre Candelon, a member of UUSC partner the Loss and Damage Collaboration, will also attend COP26.

“COP26 is one of the last chances to make significant progress on Loss and Damage,” he said. “Climate change is already impacting developed countries, as we saw recently in Germany, but also developing countries, which are more vulnerable and have not caused global warming. The damage to the latter alone is projected to be more than $300 billion per year by 2030. That’s why COP26 needs to acknowledge—and deliver on—the huge need for financial resources for Loss & Damage, and successfully operationalize the Santiago Network for Loss & Damage, to support countries technically. This is what the Loss and Damage Collaboration, a network of more than 100 practitioners, civil society organizations, and decision-makers, will fight for at COP.”

The Santiago Network gathers and distributes resources to developing countries in need of support to address loss and damage in the face of the climate crisis.


The Unitarian Universalist Service Committee (UUSC) is a human rights and solidarity organization founded as a rescue mission in 1940 during the Holocaust. Based in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and with a membership of more than 35,000 supporters across the United States, UUSC’s programs focus on the issues of climate change, migrant justice, and crisis response.