Bold commitments at COP28 for children, youth, and climate justice

ByPlan International

Bold commitments at COP28 for children, youth, and climate justice

Plan International welcomes the first steps by 23 countries in mobilizing more than $655 million for the Loss and Damage Fund. Plan International welcomes the first steps by 23 countries in mobilizing more than $655 million for the Loss and Damage Fund. This crucial funding represents a step toward addressing the urgent challenges posed by climate change but much more needs to be done. The stakes are particularly high for children and youth from low-income countries, who bear the brunt of the climate crisis.

COP28 marks a significant shift in focus towards children and youth, a commitment that will be enshrined in the final decisions of COP28. The unprecedented financial pledges, including the UAE’s launch of a $30 billion fund for climate action, underscore heightened global attention to addressing the climate crisis with both policy and funding.

”We’re laying the groundwork for a world where every child can thrive, ”Kathleen Sherwin, Chief Strategy and Engagement Officer at Plan International.

“At COP28, we’re at a crucial point in the global response against climate change. The big commitments and the launch of significant funds show that the world is waking up to the urgent need to tackle climate issues. We’re not just making policies; we’re laying the groundwork for a world where every child can thrive. Our strategy and engagement are what keep us moving forward, knowing that the choices we make today will affect generations to come,” says Kathleen Sherwin, Chief Strategy and Engagement Officer at Plan International.

In light of this commitment, it is critical that these funds swiftly reach communities on the frontline of the climate crisis. There is an imperative need to prioritise children’s rights and youth in the allocation and implementation of these resources.

See also: Unveiling COP28: A critical meeting to address climate change

Plan International’s new report, “Loss and Damage Finance for Children,” calls for a child-centered approach to addressing climate-related challenges. It emphasizes that children and their rights are overlooked in policy discussions and the allocation of climate finance. When children are acknowledged, they are often perceived solely as vulnerable victims rather than being recognized as proactive agents of change.

”I support other girls and young women to raise their voices on the climate crisis, and to lead action in their communities, ”Esther, Youth Delegate at COP28.

Esther, a youth delegate from Plan International who delivered a speech at a high-level ministerial event hosted by the COP28 presidency, adds: “Climate change has impacted my life in profound ways. Recurrent floods became the unwelcome norm, disrupting not just routines but dreams. The friends I walked to school with, whose education was interrupted by the crisis, mirrored the harsh reality faced by many in my community. I couldn’t remain a bystander, I resolved to be a catalyst for change. I support other girls and young women to raise their voices on the climate crisis, and to lead action in their communities.”

Plan International also sees it as critical to integrate gender equality into climate action. As the organization commends the mobilization of funds, it calls for a gender-responsive approach to ensure that the impact on women and girls is adequately addressed. There’s no time to lose. In week two, COP28 must deliver on Children’s Rights, Gender Equality, and Climate Action. The collective efforts must translate into concrete action for the most vulnerable.