Mothers react to close of COP 27: More work needed to safeguard children’s lives and health

Mothers have issued statements on the close of the COP27 Climate Summit, welcoming the creation of a Loss and Damage Fund, but saying that not enough action has been taken to phase down dangerous fossil fuels.

The mothers are from two global networks, Our Kids’ Climate and Parents For Future Global and attended COP27 to ensure that children’s health, lives and rights were central to discussions and negotiations.

Maya Mailer, Co-Director of Our Kids’ Climate said: 

“The creation of a Loss and Damage Fund, thanks to the tireless efforts of civil society, and vulnerable countries, is a historic breakthrough. From an early age, we teach our children to share and show compassion –  to play fair.  It is basic fairness that those communities who have done the least to contribute to carbon pollution should receive support from rich countries to rebuild and repair after climate disasters hit. But world leaders have failed to address the core driver of the climate crisis: the burning of fossil fuels. Without an urgent phase down of all fossil fuels, disasters will continue to worsen with children amongst the most affected. This is a grave injustice.”

Bhavreen Kandhari from Warrior Moms in India, said: 

“The burning of coal, oil and gas is polluting the air our children breathe, destroying their health and stealing their futures. Every third child in Delhi has damaged lungs from air polluted by fossil fuels. According to the World Health Organization, 13 people are dying every minute across the world as a result of air pollution, three alone in India. Do these deaths from air pollution not matter to those negotiating on our behalf? This COP should have made an unambiguous agreement to phase out all fossil fuels. Our children need a rapid and just transition to life-saving clean, renewable energy.  As mothers and fathers, grand-parents and caregivers, we are resolved to keep fighting for all children and their right to breathe clean air and grow up on a healthy planet.”

Xoli Fuyani, the founder of South African group Black Girls Rising and an organizer with Our Kids’ Climate said:

“In the Global South, in marginalized communities, we are experiencing the brunt of climate change now. The creation of a Loss and Damage Fund is historic, much fought for, and much needed. But fossil fuels – coal, gas, oil – the drivers of this crisis must be phased out. They are making children sick and worsening climate change.

“We remain determined. The final COP27 text acknowledges the right we all have to a clean, healthy and sustainable environment. There is a growing understanding of the connection between health, fossil fuels and the climate crisis and powerful new intergenerational coalitions are forming between health care professionals, campaigners, parents and youth. We will keep pushing for the sake of children everywhere.”