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Loss and Damage

The recent Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Working Group II contribution to the Sixth Assessment Report emphasizes that efforts to avert, minimize, and address loss and damage (L&D) are critical and necessary. Given that collective efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emission and adapt are not enough to match the speed and scale of growing climate impacts, some L&D from climate change is inevitable, even if we achieve the Paris Agreement’s goal of limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius.

“Loss and damage” is not formally defined under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) or Paris Agreement and generally refers to the economic and non-economic damage associated with slow onset events and extreme weather events caused by climate change. From the start of international climate negotiations, vulnerable nations have called for the provision of financial assistance and technical support to help them address L&D.

Since the establishment of a formal mechanism on L&D, the Warsaw International Mechanism (WIM), and its executive committee in 2013, UNFCCC Parties have continued to examine and build upon the tools and institutions needed to minimize, avert and address L&D. In 2019, the Santiago Network was established as part of the WIM to catalyze the technical assistance, knowledge, and resources developing countries need to address L&D. Amid difficult discussions around finance for L&D, COP26 launched the Glasgow Dialogue to provide a forum for discussion on funding L&D activities.

As L&D becomes increasingly a reality around the world and a greater focus of attention in international climate diplomacy. C2ES is making this key issue a central part of our mission, working towards achieving an international consensus on this contentious issue – including through expert analysis, policy briefs, blogs, and convenings of key stakeholders – in a way that is effective to help the most climate vulnerable people around the world

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