FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
19th November, 2022 – At the close of the COP27 climate conference, World Vision has welcomed an agreement to set up a loss and damage fund, but urges leaders that vulnerable children cannot wait twelve months for progress on the critical climate issues driving hunger, conflict and poverty today.
“We understand the challenge of getting nearly 200 governments to agree on anything,” said Ekkehard Forberg, a climate and peace expert at World Vision speaking from Sharm El Sheik, “but the children of the world—who have made the least contribution to climate change but suffer the greatest impact—need action today. Children who have been forced from their homes by floods and children who have no food to eat because of drought do not have time to wait for procrastination and pontification."
“We are pleased that an agreement was reached today to set up a loss and damage fund to help countries worst affected by the climate crisis. But children and young people cannot wait years for countries to start contributing and investing those funds. In humanitarian work around the world, World Vision is seeing the damage climate disasters are having every day and with increasing frequency and ferocity,” said Mr. Forberg.
While World Vision was pleased that, for the first time, there were official spaces and meetings dedicated for children and youth at a COP, the organisation believes that children are still not the focus of national and global climate plans.
“Children are disproportionately affected by climate change and thus should be at the very centre of the national and global response,” said Mr. Forberg. “Their voices need to be heard and their rights defended. COP27 was held in a desert resort, and next year it will be in one of the world’s richest oil states. We would invite COP negotiators to come sit under the community tree with children and young people in rural Niger or in Kenya and see first-hand the impact of their decisions.”
These youth representatives would, among other topics, certainly recommend nature-based solutions to the climate crisis such as World Vision’s Farmer-Managed Natural Regeneration programme – a powerful way to regreen communities and capture carbon. Young people in those countries have seen the transformative power of this approach themselves. World Vision argues that if the international community adopted such solutions the world would be more likely to achieve the 1.5 degree goal.
Tanzanian 15-year-old Shania – a participant in World Vision's Citizen Voice and Action programme - attended COP27 to speak out on the issue of climate change. Her attendance was facilitated by World Vision, the European Union and the African Union. Addressing the representatives of the COP 27 presidency she movingly said, "We are the least responsible for climate change, but we are the most affected by its impacts. This is not fair. Governments of all countries need to take bolder decisions and act quickly and decisively, and they need to do it NOW."
Mr. Forberg said, “The world must listen to young people like Shania. We are running out of time, but we can, and we must, make changes now in order to protect the planet and ensure that all children can look forward to, rather than dread, their future on this planet.”
For further information or an interview please contact Silvia Holten, Media Director, in Sharm-El Sheik on +49 175 2959758.
World Vision is a Christian humanitarian and development organisation dedicated to working with children, families and their communities to reach their full potential by tackling the root causes of poverty and injustice.
World Vision serves all people, regardless of religion, race, ethnicity or gender. For more information, please visit www.wvi.org or follow us on Twitter @WorldVision