Loss and damage

Loss and Damage

Countries and communities worldwide are suffering escalating impacts of climate change – from loss of lives and livelihoods, to degradation of agricultural land, displacement, and loss of biodiversity.

It is becoming increasingly evident that while adaptation and resilience-building can reduce or prevent some of these losses, there are hard limits.

Loss and damage can refer to the unavoidable impacts of climate change – in economic and non-economic terms – that occur despite, or in the absence of, mitigation and adaptation efforts.

For example, rebuilding infrastructure that has repeatedly been damaged due to floods, loss of coastline land (and homes and businesses), loss of traditional knowledge due to sea-level rise and coastal erosion, or trauma from experiencing a tropical cyclone or years-long drought.

At COP27 in 2022, Parties reached an historic agreement to establish new funding arrangements, including a new fund for climate-related loss and damage for particularly vulnerable countries.

The hard-won deal, which has been a key issue for Small Island Developing States for decades, was a turning point in acknowledging the vast inequities of the climate crisis with the aim of providing much-needed finance for poorer countries and communities facing ongoing loss and damage.

Recognition of loss and damage is on the rise. Nearly 30 countries supported by Climate Promise specifically emphasized its importance in their enhanced NDCs. Island nations such as Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Saint Lucia, and Vanuatu are leading the way with dedicated sections on the issue.

UNDP’s Climate Promise is supporting countries to avert, minimize, and address loss and damage by using the NDC process to identify actions that will help prevent and/or respond to loss and damage in a holistic way.

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