Loss & Damage

Saleemul Huq, Erin Roberts and Anna Hasemann
International Centre for Climate Change and Development
ecbi Bonn Seminar
June 9th, 2013
Loss and Damage: From an idea . . .
1991 – Vanuatu submits a proposal on behalf of AOSIS
to the Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee for an
international insurance pool to be included in the
1992 – Proposal not incorporated into Convention but the
word “insurance” survived in Article 8 which calls on
Parties to consider actions related to “funding, insurance
and the transfer of technology, to meet the specific needs
and concerns of developing country Parties arising from
the adverse effects of climate change…”
...to a work programme...
2007 – Bali Action Plan calls for enhanced action on adaptation including the
consideration of “disaster risk reduction strategies and means to address loss and
damage associated with climate change impacts in vulnerable countries”.
2008 - AOSIS proposes the ‘Multi-Window Mechanism to Address Loss and Damage
from Climate Change Impacts’ in a submission to the SBI which calls for:
(1) insurance to help vulnerable countries manage the financial risk associated with
increasingly frequent and severe extreme events;
(2) rehabilitation or compensation to address loss and damage associated with the
impacts of climate change; and
(3) risk management to support risk assessment and inform the other components of
the framework.
2010 - At COP 16 a work programme is established to “consider approaches to
address loss and damage associated with climate change impacts in developing
countries that are particularly vulnerable to the adverse effects of climate change.”
…to enhanced understanding.
2011 - At SBI 34 the work programme is differentiated into three thematic areas:
(1) Assessing the risk of loss and damage associated with the adverse impacts of
climate change and current knowledge of the same
(2) A range of approaches to addressing loss and damage at associated with the
adverse effects of climate change, including impacts related to extreme weather
events and slow onset events, taking into consideration experience at all levels
(3) The role of the Convention in the implementation of approaches to address loss
and damage associated with the adverse effects of climate change.
2012 – Activities under the work programme include:
 An expert meeting on assessing the risk of loss and damage
 Regional expert meetings on approaches to address loss and damage in each of
Africa, Asia and Latin America and one for the SIDS
 Background paper on methodologies to assess loss and damage, literature review
on approaches to address loss and damage and a technical paper on slow onset
What did we learn?
A few of the gaps and needs identified in the expert meetings include:
Significant capacity and data needs on assessing the risk of loss and damage
Need to understand much more about slow onset processes and how to
address them
Need to enhance support for local level action
Need to mainstream loss and damage into national development plans
Need to increase regional cooperation through regional platforms and forums
Deconstructing the Doha decision
In Paragraph 5 Parties decided that, “the role of the Convention in promoting the
implementation of approaches to address loss and damage associated with the
adverse effects of climate change includes, inter alia, the following:
a) Enhancing knowledge and understanding of comprehensive risk management
approaches to address loss and damage associated with the adverse effects of
climate change, including slow onset impacts;
b) Strengthening dialogue, coordination, coherence and synergies among
relevant stakeholders;
Enhancing action and support, including finance, technology and capacitybuilding, to address loss and damage associated with the adverse effects of
climate change;
In Paragraph 9 Parties decided to “establish institutional arrangements, such as
international mechanism, including functions and modalities elaborated in
accordance with the role of the Convention as defined in paragraph 5 . . .”
Deconstructing the Doha Decision
Paragraph 6 invites all Parties, taking into account common but differentiated responsibilities and
respective capabilities and specific national and regional development priorities, objectives and
circumstances, to enhance action on addressing loss and damage . . . by undertaking, inter alia, the
 Assessing the risk of loss and damage, including slow onset impacts;
 Identifying options and designing and implementing country-driven risk management
strategies and approaches;
 Observation of, and data collection on, the impacts of climate change, in particular slow
onset impacts;
 Implementing comprehensive climate risk management approaches;
 Promote enabling environment to encourage investment and involve relevant
 Involving vulnerable communities and populations, and civil society, the private sector
and other relevant stakeholders, in the assessment of and response to loss and damage;
 Enhancing access to, sharing and the use of data, at the regional, national and
subnational levels to facilitate the assessment and management of climate-related risk.
Where opportunities lie...
Paragraph 7 represents an agreement between all Parties that further work is needed on, inter
Enhancing understanding of:
Non-economic losses and damages;
The impacts of loss and damage on especially vulnerable groups;
Approaches to address loss and damage from extreme events and slow onset
processes, including risk reduction, risk sharing, risk transfer and rehabilitation;
The impacts of climate change on patterns of migration, displacement and human
Strengthening and supporting the collection and management of relevant data
Strengthening and promoting regional collaboration
Enhanced capacity-building at the national and regional levels to address loss and
Strengthening institutional arrangements at the national, regional and international
levels to address loss and damage
Parties now need to agree on how to operationalize the needs identified in paragraphs 6 and 7
What is the way forward in the
negotiation process?
Develop an understanding of the needs of developing countries
for assessing and addressing loss and damage and develop
institutional arrangements that address those needs.
Need to better understand thresholds and limits to adaptation.
Need clarity on compensation – what does it mean?
Need to ensure that mandates of existing institutions not duplicated
while addressing loss and damage in a holistic, coherent and
comprehensive way under the Convention.
While acknowledging further research needs it is important to deliver a
decision in Warsaw that will help developing countries address loss
and damage both today and tomorrow.
Work together to develop a 2015 agreement that will reduce loss
and damage through enhanced action on both mitigation and
adaptation and help developing countries address residual losses
and damages
What is the way forward for national
level action?
Loss and damage is happening now and countries cannot wait for
guidance from the UNFCCC to address it.
While there are significant financial, capacity building and
technology needs for developing comprehensive approaches to
address future loss and damage in developing countries there is a
lot that has been done already including:
Establishment of national climate change funds in Bangladesh
Development of a national strategy on food security in Ethiopia
Creation of national disaster fund in Mexico
Establishment of a poverty reduction strategy in the Philippines to help
those most vulnerable to climate change impacts
Developing countries can and will continue to work within their
own capacities to implement approaches to assess and address
loss and damage, but those efforts will be enhanced with support.
Loss and damage is a global issue
While developing countries will bear the brunt of climate change impacts, losses and
damages from climate change are being experienced worldwide:
 In late 2012, Hurricane Sandy hit the northeast coast of the US causing estimated
damages of 53 billion USD.
Current floods in Germany have resulted in loss and damage estimated at 2.5
billion EUR.
In Alaska, five communities are planning to relocate due to coastal erosion, at an
estimated cost of 80 million to 200 million USD for each village.
Increased heat waves in France are predicted to decrease maize yields by 12
percent over the next 20 years.
Increased incidence of bush fires in Australia has led to a study investigating the
psychological affects of bush fires on children.
For more information
 Since February of 2012 ICCCAD has been
conducting research to better understand how to
assess and address loss and damage at the
national level in Bangladesh.
 For more information contact Erin Roberts at
[email protected]

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