The unavoidable loss and damage from climate change
Global warming and associated climate change is the greatest crisis humanity faces at the present time. Despite heightened global efforts in mitigation and adaptation, climate-related impacts are likely to exceed the adaptive capacity of communities and countries (Mechler et al., 2016). The latest report of the Inter-governmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has unequivocally established that climate change is accelerating, damaging our ecosystems and disproportionately impacting the world’s most vulnerable people, including women, the poor, and other marginalised populations (IPCC, 2021; IPCC, 2022). Governments around the world are slowly recognising the need to take concurrent action on both mitigation and adaptation. Net zero by 2050 has become a widespread policy ambition in relation to mitigation, and national planning and local actions are emerging as primary strategies for adaptation efforts. The need for increased finances and innovative funding mechanisms has also become a prominent issue in the global policy debate. Crucially, however, after years of mitigative and adaptive efforts that have proven inadequate in various respects, some consequences of climate change have been deemed unavoidable and are now generally referred to as Loss and Damage (Huq, 2021).