NEW YORK (September 18, 2023) — Today, Only One, the action platform for the ocean and planet, and the Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS) launched a new campaign and content series (www.only.one/lossanddamage) to urge world leaders to deliver on the promise of launching and financing a fit-for-purpose and well-resourced Loss and Damage Fund. Leading into this year’s 28th Conference of Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP28), the campaign aims to galvanize international commitments and rally thousands of supporters to urge key decision-makers to fulfill the breakthrough commitment made at COP27 to address the urgent needs of the most climate-vulnerable island nations and developing countries.
The world’s 20 wealthiest nations, the G20, are responsible for nearly 80 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions, while all small island developing states (SIDS) combined account for barely one percent. SIDS are bearing the burden of a climate crisis they did not cause.
“Our islands in the Pacific, the Caribbean, the Atlantic, Indian Ocean, and South China Sea regions are facing devastating losses and damages year after year,” said AOSIS Chair, H.E. Ambassador Pa’olelei Luteru. “Communities are being forced to relocate due to rising sea levels, fisheries and agricultural yields are debilitated, access to drinking water is compromised, livelihoods are being lost, and our very lives are at risk. Climate change impacts are worsening, and SIDS are forced to take onerous loans to finance their recovery or adaptation efforts at the cost of our sustainable development.”
“AOSIS has long been calling for consistent and adequate support from the international community to cope with these disproportionate ever-worsening impacts. At COP28, world leaders must finally show their mettle by turning talk into action, and ensure vulnerable countries receive this critical support with the operationalization of the loss and damage fund.”
“Small islands, coastal nations, and developing countries continue to bear the greatest impact and costs of a global climate crisis which they played little role in creating,” said Only One co-founder and climate lead Aaron Kinnari. “While the communities we met across several island nations are incredibly resilient, they need financial support from the international community. It’s vital global leaders fulfill their commitment and operationalize the loss and damage fund at COP28 this year.
The Loss and Damage campaign will mobilize a global effort to influence key decision-makers to adequately finance and formalize the multilateral fund dedicated to helping the most vulnerable countries recover from extreme climate disasters and adapt to mounting slow-onset impacts.
Supporters worldwide will take action through a digital campaign and petition, which will be delivered at COP28, complemented by online actions through the end of the year. A collection of powerful, informative content showcases the far-reaching impacts of the climate crisis on local communities — from coastal erosion and water scarcity to heritage and cultural loss, the existential threat faced by low-lying island countries, and what these nations can potentially achieve with the Loss and Damage Fund in place. The series includes three original short-films featuring communities in Belize, Niue, and Tuvalu, along with a series of articles, infographics, and interviews.
The series features leaders like Ambassador Carlos Fuller, the Permanent Representative of Belize to the United Nations, Moira Zeta Enetama, Niuean curator and cultural activist, and Honorable Seve Paeniu, Minister of Finance and Economic Development for Tuvalu. A series of shorter clips called “Portraits of Resilience” will highlight the personal stories of local community members confronting the challenges of the climate crisis.
It is of critical importance that at COP28, countries show leadership in the fight against the climate crisis. Supporters are urged to demonstrate to small island developing states that they will not remain on the sidelines when it comes to accessing international climate financing that they so desperately need.