Climate Change A funding mosaic for loss and damage

January 19, 2023
By Koko Warner and Michael Weisberg | Science

In the context of climate policy, “loss and damage” refers to unavoided climate change impacts, including those from extreme weather events and slow-onset events such as sea-level rise, increasing temperatures, and loss of biodiversity. Some argue that focusing on loss and damage distracts industrialized countries from attempts to avoid losses and damages in the first place through decarbonization and adaptation. Others argue that insufficient mitigation by industrialized countries has unleashed an unfair burden on developing countries, so developed countries alone must address loss and damage financially. The impasse was broken at the 27th Conference of the Parties (COP27)—the international climate negotiations—in November 2022, through a decision on new funding arrangements for loss and damage, including a new fund. Reflecting on the funding needs, Maldives’ Environment Minister Aminath Shauna argued at COP27 that the world requires a “mosaic of solutions.” As a transitional committee begins to assemble recommendations to operationalize this mosaic of funding arrangements, several critical questions require insights from the scientific community.

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