Cuppa at COP26 Focus on youth and public empowerment

Cuppa at COP26: Focus on youth and public empowerment

Day five of COP26 will focus on Youth and Public Empowerment. Young climate leaders around the world will take to the stage.

Ineza Umuhoza Grace from the Loss and Damage Youth Coalition says negotiators are still not hearing concerns from those in the most affected areas.

“We have more than enough of saying and demanding without having a response,” she said, adding that she needs to return from COP26 with something tangible for her community.

Ineza Umuhoza Grace from the Loss and Damage Youth Coalition

Ineza is co-director of the Loss and Damage Youth Coalition and is speaking on behalf of people from Rwanda who have witnessed impacts of climate change through floods and soil erosion.

The eco-feminist is privy to some of the negotiations at COP26, and said that so far they were not going well and their message is not being heard.

“In regards, negotiations and the blocking of languages or they are not listening to our partners in the negotiation room, it’s still present because they have not changed their tactics, they don’t want to listen and most importantly the least developed countries are making their demands quite clear but no one is there is understand.”

She said it was only the end of week one and she hopes there will be more positive news at the end of next week.

From the perspective of Rwanda, Ineza said they have done less to cause the climate crisis, “but yet our community is at the frontline, so we experience the loss and damage in terms of flooding, erosion and landslide”.

She said in 2020, Rwanda lost more than 4,000 hectares of land due to soil erosion and flooding.

“We are all in the red zone. It will only be possible for me and my children and my family and the older generation also to have a future unless the COP26 delivers, by delivering I mean quit the fake promises, give us some real tangible hope on the ground.”

The inevitable consequences of human-caused climate change are known as loss and damage, it is the third pillar of international climate policy after mitigation and adaptation.

It refers to what has been lost that cannot be replaced due to climate change like human lives.

Monday is the day dedicated to Loss and Damage at COP26.

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