As fossil fuel companies continue to make record profits while driving the climate crisis, Lewes Climate Hub and its supporters are calling on UK policymakers to ensure the Loss and Damage Fund to be discussed at the upcoming COP28 Summit does deliver financial reparation to people and communities hardest hit by climate change.
Fossil fuel companies are making eye-watering profits with little regard for the climate and ecological devastation caused by carbon pollution from their industry. British oil giant Shell made £9.6 billion in profits in just the first three months of 2023. BP made £5 billion.
Meanwhile, in Pakistan more than 1,700 people died in 2022 after a third of the country was under water due to unprecedented flooding. In Ethiopia nearly 12 million are believed to be ‘food insecure’ due to the worst drought in 40 years. And in Malawi over half a million people were displaced following Cyclone Freddy.
This is the reality of climate-related loss and damage. But so far those who are doing the most to cause the climate crisis – including banks like Barclays and HSBC that are funding fossil fuel activity as well as the oil companies themselves – have contributed nothing to pay for loss and damage.
It’s time to hold these companies to account. And we need to ensure our leaders feel the pressure to make them pay.
What’s the answer?
At the COP27 United Nations Climate Change Conference held in Egypt last November, countries agreed that a Loss and Damage Fund would be established to provide financial assistance to nations most vulnerable and impacted by the effects of climate change.
It was agreed that representatives from 24 countries would work together over the next year to decide what form the fund should take, which countries should contribute, and where and how the money should be distributed.
With COP28 set to get underway in Dubai on 30 November, it’s essential that the UK leads by example by agreeing to pay into the fund itself, forcing polluting fossil fuel companies and banks to pay up, and using its diplomatic influence to encourage other countries to act.
But in order to act and champion the Loss and Damage Fund, the UK government needs to see that people care about this issue.
Will you join us in calling for action on loss and damage?
Add your name to the letter below asking local and national decision-makers to take action to make polluters pay into a Loss and Damage Fund to support countries experiencing the worst impacts of climate change. You can sign the letter: Petition · Make Polluters Pay – sign our letter from the people of Lewes · Change.org
Dear Maria Caulfield MP, Cllr Zoe Nicholson, Cllr James MacCleary, Cllr Ian Alexander, Bishop of Lewes Will Hazelwood, Archdeacon of Brighton and Lewes Martin Lloyd Williams, Bishop of Chichester Martin Warner, His Majesty the King, Rt Hon Rishi Sunak, Rt Hon Andrew Mitchell, Baroness Kay Andrews and Lord Deben.
Burning fossil fuels has made northern nations and fossil fuel corporations rich while those who did the least to contribute to the climate crisis are paying the price. Extreme weather events are costing lives, homes and livelihoods in the most climate-vulnerable countries – while major oil companies continue to rake in massive profits.
We are calling on the UK government to commit to make UK-based fossil fuel giants contribute substantially to the Loss and Damage Fund agreed at COP27.
Please use the opportunities you have to ask the government to commit to the Make Polluters Pay principle at COP28 and beyond. The UK government must show leadership in order to exercise greater influence at an international level. We therefore ask the government to:
- Commit to make the UK’s biggest polluters contribute substantially to the UN’s Loss and Damage Fund that was agreed at COP27.
- Support the operationalisation of the Loss and Damage Fund so that it urgently delivers loss and damage finance to communities already experiencing the impacts of climate breakdown.
- Ensure money attributed to loss and damage is new and additional to the climate finance commitments already made and not taken from existing budgets.
- Commit to providing loss and damage finance in the form of grants, not loans.
The UK and other developed countries have moral obligations towards countries from whom we have extracted resources for centuries.
We the undersigned call on you to do all you can to ensure that the UK government honours and leads action on the international commitment to a Loss and Damage Fund.
Add your name to the letter here: Petition · Make Polluters Pay – sign our letter from the people of Lewes · Change.org