Tell President Biden and U.S. climate negotiators: The world must address the mounting losses and damages due to climate change.

We’ve entered a stage of the climate crisis where the harms of runaway carbon and other greenhouse gas pollutants are apparent. These impacts will continue to grow, even if the world acts immediately to curb emissions.

Many of the countries most responsible for fueling the climate crisis, including the United States, did not act fast enough to reduce pollution. Because of that, people are having to adapt to the impacts of their climate changing. 

While the entire world hasn’t done enough on climate adaptation, the United States and other wealthy nations have the resources to adapt and deal with many of these changes while poorer countries don't. It is the responsibility of the United States to help other countries not only adapt to impacts, but also manage the losses and damages from climate change that are becoming more frequent. 

When adaptation measures fail or are not put into place, the irreparable harm of climate change is often referred to as “loss and damage” in international climate spaces. Think of loss of life, cultural sites, property, agricultural sites, and entire communities due to sea level rise, flooding, drought, and more extreme weather events due to climate change. We experience loss and damage in the United States as well like Hurricane Katrina and Sandy or wildfires on the West Coast.

At this Fall’s UN climate conference in Egypt, the topic of loss and damage finance will be debated. Wealthier countries, including the United States, have created most of the greenhouse gas emissions that are causing climate disruption, yet our government has long resisted taking responsibility to provide resources to address loss and damage for poorer nations. With an African-hosted climate conference, focusing the world’s attention on the significant impact that climate change has had on the African continent will be important. 

Call on President Biden and his climate negotiators -- US Climate Envoy John Kerry and Director of Climate Negotiations Trigg Talley -- to acknowledge that those countries most responsible for climate change must address mounting loss and damage.

UN Climate change conference-Christian O'Rourke-2021-digital only.jpg


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Photo courtesy of Christian O'Rourke