Participants of the HRC56 side event

Participants of the HRC56 side event.


"Faith-based communities are on the front lines of climate change, witnessing firsthand the loss of culture, biodiversity, and mental wellbeing. Our unique moral and ethical perspectives drive us to focus on raising awareness through education, campaigns, and advocacy, using powerful storytelling to humanize the impacts of noneconomic loss and damage,” said Elena Cedillo from the Lutheran World Federation, representing the Geneva Interfaith Forum. “Through partnerships, we aim for holistic approaches that promote resilience and wellbeing, emphasizing our interconnectedness and shared responsibility to protect creation and support those most affected by climate change."

Elisa Morgera, UN special rapporteur on Human Rights and Climate Change, highlighted the need for a “systems thinking approach” and the importance of intersectionality. She reminded participants that engaging with the lived experiences of those most impacted by climate change provides invaluable knowledge. They must have access to procedural spaces and contribute to evidence collection and response development, including the prioritization of financial flows.

Rina Kuusipalo from the Office of the High Commissioner on Human Rights raised the issue of how climate change threatens Indigenous knowledge, exemplified by the Sami language, leads to violations of the right to life, and requires comprehensive remedies, including fossil fuel phase-out, reparations, a fit-for-purpose loss and damage fund, and increased climate finance, especially for Indigenous peoples, to address noneconomic loss and damage effectively.

Kira Vinke from the Climate Unit, German Council on Foreign Relations, stressed that governments must integrate noneconomic loss and damage into climate policies by recognizing losses such as religious sites, cultural heritage, and human lives, with a focus on mitigation, feminist approaches, and institutionalizing the right to remedy to ensure equitable relief and assistance while planning for future losses and acknowledging climate change as a common human issue.

Watch the recording of the event here