Climate Hero: Ilka Vega

Ilka Vega is a social justice activist who splits her time between Juarez, Mexico and El Paso, Texas.

Unit 2 Faith Leaders
  •             Ayers
  •             Hendershot
  •             Mullen
Unit 2 Climate Decoders
  • Sadie/Harjeet
  • Sacrifice Zone
  • No Room for Oil & Gas

Climate change is already impacting people around the globe, especially those who can least afford it. Loss and damage lead to migration, and faith communities are active in both spaces.

Meeting Plan

Opening Reflection (5 min)

Consider opening your meeting with a prayer or reading from your faith tradition that focuses on how your faith calls you to welcome others. See some examples under the Resources section of this study guide, or feel free to use whatever speaks to your group.

Watch video (15 min)

Discussion (20 min) 

Follow the guidance in Unit 1 for organizing and recording your discussion.

Work on Action Plan (10 min)

This week, you should spend this time discussing any “hiccups” you have run into with your Action Plan. If necessary, choose different projects or approaches, or reassign tasks based on shifting group member capacities. You might need to schedule a phone call or meeting to accomplish a project, so now would be a good time to do that.

Wrap Up (10 min)

Invite each group member to say one thing they learned today that made them feel negative emotions like anger, sadness, or fear.

Learning Objectives

Understand “Loss and Damage” as a climate policy term

Understand how climate impacts human migration

Learn about how climate change already is impacting people around the world

Key Takeaways

Loss and damage is very expensive for everyone

Developing countries can’t afford to address loss and damage to the same degree wealthy countries can

Part of the climate policy process involves finding ways to get funding to developing nations to address loss and damage

US faith communities may need to consider how climate change is driving human migration, and how that interaction may impact their ministries in the future

Discussion Questions
  1. In what ways have you experienced loss and damage in your own life?
  2. What resources were available to help you cope?
  3. What ministries that your faith community engages in or supports address loss and damage locally? Regionally? Globally?
  4. What hard choices might your faith community be forced to make regarding loss and damage in the future?
  5. Which health-related impacts of climate change seem most relevant in your context? Have you thought about how to respond to them?
  6. How much should developed countries shoulder the costs of addressing loss and damage in developing countries, and why?
  7. What options are available for people who cannot support their families because of climate impacts on their home environment?
  8. What responsibility do developed countries bear to the citizens of developing countries facing climate impacts?
  9. What risks are there for developed countries in accepting climate migrants? What benefits? Do the risks outweigh the benefits?
  10. What risks are there to developed countries if they refuse to provide resources or offer refuge to climate migrants?
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