CAN Submission: Input to WIM Executive Committee, Financial Instruments to address Loss and Damage, March 2016

~Loss and damage are the adverse effects of climate change that go beyond people’s capacity to cope and adapt to climate change impacts (Warner, van der Geest and Kreft 2013; LDC 2012). Loss and damage impacts range from extreme events, for example, weather-related natural hazards, to slow-onset events, including sea-level rise; increasing temperatures; ocean acidification; glacial retreat and related impacts; salinization; land and forest degradation; loss of biodiversity; and desertification (UNFCCC 2012).
Communities are already experiencing significant loss and damage to quality of life, livelihoods, food, and livelihood security as well as secondary loss and damage in the form of stress on the social fabric essential for adaptive capacity and resilience (LDC 2012).

We welcome the agreement at Paris to aim to keep warming to 1.5°C. This would prevent some of the worst impacts of climate change, but will still poses serious challenges, especially for least-developed countries, small island developing states, African countries and a number of vulnerable Latin American countries including with drought, ocean acidification, and sea-level rise (Schaeffer et al. 2013, pp. 3–4). Hence, even with the best possible future mitigation efforts, vulnerable countries will still have to deal with loss and damage (LDC 2012; Verheyen and Roderick 2008, pp. 10–11). Even worse, current mitigation ambitions as expressed in the INDCs might still lead the world to a warming in the order of 3°C of average by the end of this century. This level of warming may be beyond the limits of adaptation for a large number of countries (Schaeffer et al. 2013, p. 4), in particular as it results in significantly higher increases in many regions.

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