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Losses and Damages from Climate Change

The OECD project on losses and damages from climate change unpacks available understanding of climate risks, including the inherent uncertainties in our understanding of the risks, and the implications for reducing and managing future losses and damages. The project examines the role of policy, finance and technology, as well as incentives for action at national, regional and international levels. It also highlights the nature of the economic and non-economic impacts of climate change, particularly for the most vulnerable people and communities.

The OECD project on losses and damages from climate change unpacks available understanding of climate risks, including the inherent uncertainties in our understanding of the risks, and the implications for reducing and managing future losses and damages. The project examines the role of policy, finance and technology, as well as incentives for action at national, regional and international levels. It also highlights the nature of the economic and non-economic impacts of climate change, particularly for the most vulnerable people and communities.

Spotlight: Managing Climate Risks, Facing up to Losses and Damages (report and related events)

Losses and damages - cover publication

This report addresses the urgent issue of climate-related losses and damages. Climate change is driving fundamental changes to the planet with adverse impacts on human livelihoods and well-being, putting development gains at risk. The scale and extent of future risks for a given location is, however, subject to uncertainties in predicting complex climate dynamics as well as the impact of individual and societal decisions that determine future greenhouse gas emissions as well as patterns of socio-economic development and inequality.

The report approaches climate-related losses and damages from a risk management perspective. It explores how climate change will play out in different geographies, over time, focusing on the three types of hazards: slow-onset changes such as sea-level rise; extreme events including heatwaves, extreme rainfall and drought; and the potential for large-scale non-linear changes within the climate system itself. The report explores approaches to reduce and manage risks with a focus on policy action, finance and the role of technology in supporting effective risk governance processes. Drawing on experiences from around the world, least developed countries and small island developing states in particular, the report highlights a number of good practices and points to ways forward.

High-Level Advisory Group

A High-Level Advisory Group has been established to provide input and feedback on the development of the project. The group is composed of representatives from countries, development finance institutions, academic and other national and international actors. It is co-chaired by Masamichi Kono, OECD Deputy Secretary-General and Maria Flachsbarth, Parliamentary State Secretary, German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ).

Events

A series of workshops have been organised as input to the project to explore different perspectives related to the risks of losses and damages from climate change and approaches to reduce and manage those risks. 

  • Second workshop on approaches to reduce and manage the risks of losses and damages  | 15 April 2021

    The workshop facilitated a discussion on approaches to limit and manage the risk of losses and damages from climate change, focusing on the role of policy and finance. The workshop explored how different approaches can inform risk management in the context of deep uncertainty to build resilience and how they affect incentives for action.
     
  • First workshop on assessing the socio-economic losses and damages from climate change | 13 January 2021

    The workshop focused on methodological approaches to assess the socio-economic losses and damages from climate change highlighting opportunities, limitations and possible complementarities. The discussion explored outcomes that can be quantified, but also broader welfare losses, which are harder or impossible to monetise.

Outreach

Losses and damages visual blog post
  •  Podcast "Can net-zero commitments really prevent climate change?",  Walker Institute | 9 September 2021

    This video panel discussion on net-zero targets and their place in mitigating global climate change hosted by Walker Institute brought together experts including Marcia Rocha, Policy Analyst and Scientist at OECD currently working on the project on Losses and Damages from Climate Change.

  •  Blog post "Seeing the value in climate science"  | 14 June 

    This blog highlights some personal reflections by Heather Plumpton, Walker Institute, on the OECD workshop on approaches to reduce and manage the risks of losses and damages from climate change. It highlights key issues that emerged, including some of the core concepts and assumptions upon which climate research and policy rest.

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