Human-induced climate change has led to the increased frequency of extreme weather events, particularly in countries in the Global South. This has led to considerable loss and damage in climate-vulnerable developing countries, the recent flooding in Pakistan being a critical example. In the lead up to COP 27, developing States and global climate activists demanded progress in negotiations on loss and damage finance and technical assistance as the Paris Agreement does not adequately address these issues.

States that suffer the most from loss and damage associated with climate change impacts are not the ones who have contributed the most to global greenhouse gas emissions and are usually less technically and financially able to address loss and damage. Confusion around loss and damage concepts, differing views on the size and source of funding, and fear among developed States that they may be held financially liable for historical emissions all impede meaningful progress on loss and damage negotiations.

The global community must cooperate to establish a loss and damage financial and technical assistance facility that allows developing States to access necessary financial and technical resources to (1) build infrastructure to prevent significant loss and damage; (2) develop rehabilitation programmes for those who have lost their livelihoods following a natural disaster; and (3) fund reconstruction efforts.

This policy brief examines loss and damage under the UN climate change regime and provides recommendations to operationalise it.