Loss and Damage in Vulnerable Countries Initiative
Project Reference: TAAS-0026
There is a significant gap between existing and projected emissions and the level of emissions that would confine global warming to a 2°C – let alone a 1.5°C – increase. Countries and societies are increasingly preparing adaptation strategies and implementing a range of activities to facilitate adaptation. However, at the existing pace it is unlikely that current levels of adaptation will allow societies to transition smoothly to a changing world. The frequency and intensity of weather-related hazards is expected to grow, along with the long-term adverse impacts of weather-related risks. In many cases this could exceed adaptation thresholds of individuals, communities and countries.
Existing mitigation commitments and actions are not enough to prevent dangerous climate change related impacts. Therefore, residual loss and damage, the climate change impacts that we are unable to prevent through mitigation and adaptation efforts, will be a defining part of the future response to climate change. Like adaptation 15 years ago, loss and damage is an emerging field and an increasingly relevant topic for the international community given current levels of mitigation and adaptation coupled with future climate change projections. Thus any approach to loss and damage – particularly at the international level – must seek to increase international commitment to mitigation and adaptation, the parameters that influence the extent of residual loss and damage.
Loss and Damage in Vulnerable Countries Initiative
The Loss and Damage in Vulnerable Countries Initiative was initiated by the Government of Bangladesh (GoB) and motivated by the need to understand more about this emerging issue. In order to move forward the debate on loss and damage for the benefit of the least developed countries (LDCs) and other vulnerable countries, the GoB requested assistance from the Climate and Development Knowledge Network (CDKN) to help building a common understanding around loss and damage and provide insight into what it entails for vulnerable countries.
CDKN has appointed a consortium of organizations, which includes Germanwatch, United Nations University-Institute for Environmental and Human Security (UNU-EHS), International Centre for Climate Change and Development (ICCCAD) and Munich Climate Insurance Initiative (MCII) to carry out this work.
The overall strategic vision of the Initiative is to frame the debate of loss and damage to alter the way in which decision makers and stakeholders perceive problems and solutions related to climate change. This paradigm shift will help build momentum for the international mitigation and adaptation response towards 2015 when it is hoped that a legally binding agreement will be reached. The activities of the UNFCCC Work Programme on Loss and Damage will also be a significant guiding element for the work of the consortium.
The Loss and Damage in Vulnerable Countries Initiative is based on a three stage approach:
1. Building a common understanding of loss and damage;
2. Building momentum and commitment to act on loss and damage;
3. Assisting LDCs and other Parties articulate views on the next steps for loss and damage.
The Loss and Damage in Vulnerable Countries Initiative has four main activity areas designed to both interact with and complement each other. The activities will support LDCs and other vulnerable countries articulate their needs vis-à-vis loss and damage and help create momentum in the loss and damage debate. These activity areas include:
1. Supporting LDCs in the Loss and Damage negotiations;
2. Conceptual Framing;
3. Case Studies on the realities of loss and damage vulnerable countries;
4. Driving national policy responses to Loss and Damage in Bangladesh.
CDKN funding: £1,200,000
Project Manager: Kashmala Kakakhel
On her return from a UNFCCC Regional Workshop in Bangkok in September 2012, Kashmala Kakakhel, CDKN Project Manager, explains how loss and damage is progressing within the climate talks.
In the second of our posts on the UNFCCC regional consultations on Loss and Damage in July 2012, Katie Harris from ODI examines how integrated risk management could help address the challenges posed by slow-onset processes.
Sven Harmeling of Germanwatch and Koko Warner of the United Nations University present part one of our reports from the Latin American and Caribbean regional consultation by the UNFCCC on loss and damage in July 2012.
ODI’s Emily Wilkinson reports from the UNFCCC’s Africa regional meeting held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia in June 2012. This meeting explored how to reduce loss and damage associated with the adverse effects of climate
The project team reports from the UNFCCC talks in Bonn in May 2012 on the slow progress being made at the negotiations.
Sam Bickersteth, CDKN’s Chief Executive, reports in April 2012 on key issues in the loss and damage debate, following a UNFCCC expert consultation on the topic in Tokyo, Japan. The so-called “loss and damage”
CDKN’s Kashmala Kakakhel reflects from a March 2012 Expert Meeting that negotiators are finally shrugging off Post-Durban lethargy and gearing up for a first new round of talks of 2012.
Watch video highlights of the Government of Bangladesh’s side-event on Loss and Damage at the UNFCCC COP17 in Durban in December 2011
CDKN’s Kashmala Kakakhel reports from the December 2011 COP in Durban on the work on progress made on the issue of loss and damage by the Subsidiary Body for Implementation.
Image courtesy stephenleahy.net