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Research Portfolio

ICCCAD collaborates with various international and national organisations in endeavours to understand better how to address loss and damage. Most recently ICCCAD participated in the development of a series of loss and damage case studies with colleagues in IIED (see: Loss and damage case studies from the frontline: a resource to support practice and policy | Publications Library (iied.org)).

Given the decision at COP26 to establish the Glasgow Dialogue on loss and damage and the willingness of ‘non-party’ actors to invest in ways to better address loss and damage – most notably Scotland, Wallonia and several philanthropic organisations – the role of applied research to support knowledge generation and information delivery is more and more crucial.

Given the decision at COP26 to establish the Glasgow Dialogue on loss and damage and the willingness of ‘non-party’ actors to invest in ways to better address loss and damage – most notably Scotland, Wallonia and several philanthropic organisations – the role of applied research to support knowledge generation and information delivery is more and more crucial. ICCCAD has formed a loss and damage research team that is coordinated by Nusrat Naushin and Fahad Hossain. Prof Saleemul Huq (Director) and Dr. Simon Anderson (IIED) provide leadership and technical advise to the team. This team has consulted widely and reviewed knowledge gaps to develop a research portfolio that ICCCAD will pursue in the short to medium term. This portfolio includes the following work areas.

Framing of loss and damage

  • The ways that loss and damage is framed currently for the purposes of UNFCCC based negotiations and for advocating ways to address loss and damage does not meet many stakeholders’ expectations. Researchers will need to help find a more coherent and accessible replacement framing. A living document providing responses to frequently asked questions on loss and damage has been initiated. This will act as updatable source of information for people wanting know more about loss and damage.
  • The limitations of climate adaptation and the need to address loss and damage. Too often climate adaptation is seen from the normative perspective and little attention is paid to its effectiveness. Loss and damage results when adaptation is not effective and/or when mal-adaptation occurs. This reciprocal relation between adaptation and loss and damage needs better understood. The residual impacts of loss and damage following adaptation need counted into the adaptation effectiveness metrics.
  • Distinguishing loss and damage from other components of climate change. Loss and damage became ‘halal’ at COP26 in Glasgow – but due to the reticence of many in the UNFCCC to deliberate directly on what loss and damage is and how to address it there remains confusion and ignorance on these topics. Research is needed to both examine sensitively what loss and damage is and to generate accessible and useful descriptions. 

Loss and damage in LDCs

  • There needs to be greater clarity on the distinctions of economic and non-economic impacts, the linkages and accumulate/residual impacts of sudden-onset with slow-onset climate. A series of national level loss and damage scoping studies are underway in a series of LDCs. These will allow a more substantive understanding of what LDCs face and will include assessment of how national and sub-national mechanisms can be established to address loss and damage in these countries.
  • Qualitative analysis will be conducted of how compatible/complementary approaches being tested for locally-led adaptation are for addressing loss and damage.
  • Storytelling and theatre-making to explore and address loss and damage. This work will be in conjunction with Dr Joanne Jordan (Manchester University) and will take forward the approaches and findings from previous work in Dhaka.[1]

Non-economic loss and damage (NELD)

  • Research on how non-economic loss and damage to push forward the frontier of types of loss and damage can be valued and therefore better addressed through financial transfer. Earlier work[2] sets out well that although the term non-economic implies that NELD cannot be valued (or costed) there are many ways that this could be done.
  • Culture and climate change. ICCCAD will help facilitate contacts among a different artists and performers with interest to work with local communities facing climate impacts to explore how to raise resilience and reduce loss and damage.
  • How indigenous and traditional people and communities address loss and damage. The research will observe how NELD manifests in local communities. How does climate change affect their health, culture, surroundings, and other aspects of their lives? How are indigenous and traditional people and communities responding and what lessons are their for others.
  • Ways to address loss and damage with marginalized and excluded/displaced people. Climate risks are multiplied when vulnerable people have been excluded or displaced from their homes and communities. Some very large populations of displaced people exist in circumstances whereby their rights as citizens have been lost. Addressing the loss and damage they face should be of highest priority – but how is this best accomplished?

Loss and damage in the Global North

  • Loss and damage is a global phenomenon. Research will be conducted with partners to collate evidence on and to analyse responses to loss and damage in North America, Latin America, and Europe.

Loss and damage and gender equality Addressing losses and damages should include gender-sensitive climate action and bring a focus on opportunities for increased equality and empowerment. Addressing losses and damages must take deliberate and measurable steps that identify, respond to and transform unequal gender relations and power structures. Gendered and intersectional aspects of addressing loss and damage. The conceptual/analytical framework we use for working on loss and damage needs to include distributional elements across class, age, gender, livelihood categories, different cultural heritages, etc.


[1] Theatre making and storytelling on the margins: the lived experience of climate change in Dhaka: Research in Drama Education: The Journal of Applied Theatre and Performance: Vol 25, No 4 (tandfonline.com)

[2] Fankhauser-Dietz-Gradwell-Loss–Damage_final (lse.ac.uk)