Loss and Damage in International Climate Negotiations

Team TA

In 2013 the global community came up with the Warsaw International Mechanism For Loss and Damage. The objective was clear – to address loss and damage caused by climate change to low and middle-income countries, which are affected the most.

Loss and Damage is a general term used in UN climate negotiations referring to the consequences of climate change that go beyond people’s adaptation capacity, or when options do exist but we just don’t have enough resources to access or utilize them.

The effects of climate change are becoming more frequent and severe all around the globe. Be it in form of floods, cyclones, draughts or wildfires. The whole world is in arrest mode!

Countries are therefore now increasingly focused on the question of how to address this issue of environmental and human harm, otherwise known as loss and damage in the language of the international climate negotiations.

Nine years later, ahead of COP27, the concept of loss and damage has once again taken a front seat on the political agenda.


Because of pushback from small island states and developing countries, which remain the worst affected because of climate change.

As per a Climate Risk Index prepared by Berlin-based Germanwatch organization, low-income countries were the most affected due to climate change in the past two decades. This is ALARMING!

India itself was ranked as the seventh most affected country due to extreme weather events in 2019 that result in widescale loss and damage, as per the index.

This is the harsh reality of climate change that despite negligible contribution to global warming or carbon emissions, poor countries continue to suffer the most. And, rich countries neither want to pay for the damage they have done nor help LIMCs to fight climate change.

Despite repeated requests from civil society, developed economies have turned deaf ear to this issue of Loss and Damage. If projections are to be believed, the economic cost of Loss and Damage by 2030 is estimated to be between USD 290 & 580 billion in developing countries alone.

For the coming COP27 in November, in Egypt, the Indian Environment Minister has said that Loss and Damage is going to be the top priority for the country’s negotiators. He also highlighted the fact that India’s been proactive in achieving targets under the Paris Agreement.

As all eyes are on COP27, its success will largely depend on the L&D outcome because vulnerable nations and communities urgently need monetary support to fight climate change.

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TA Snippets is special curated series of content, sharing crisp and key insights on issues of environment, health, gender, law and human rights. Feel free to get in touch with us at contact@theanalysis.org.in

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