Climate change

OECD Workshop on Assessing the socio-economic losses and damages from climate change

13 January 2021
14h00-19h00 (CEST)
OECD Paris
Virtual Zoom Meeting

This workshop was the first in a series of OECD workshops that aim to inform and feed into the OECD project on losses and damages.

 Losses and damages from climate change

The objective of this OECD project is to prepare a report that will explore climate impact projections as well as different types and levels of relevant uncertainties and what they mean for approaches to managing such impacts. On that basis, it will provide an overview of existing and emerging approaches and the key scientific and socio-economic issues relevant to limiting and managing the risks of losses and damages from climate change in the context of uncertainty. The role of policy, finance and technology will be highlighted. This will be complemented by a discussion on how these different approaches affect incentives for action at national, regional and international levels. The analysis will be global in scale but throughout the circumstances of different geographic areas or groupings will be highlighted with a particular focus on Least Developed Countries and Small Islands Developing States. This will result in a report that will be launched around the time of COP26.  

Workshop on Assessing the socio-economic losses and damages from climate change 

This first virtual workshop on 13 January has focused on methodological approaches to assess the socio-economic losses and damages from climate change. It has facilitated a discussion on the different methodological approaches of eliciting socio-economic losses and damages, their opportunities, limitations and possible complementarities. This has included outcomes that can be quantified, but also broader welfare losses, which are harder or impossible to monetise. 

The questions that have been explored include:

  • What are the challenges of quantifying economically near-term (2030) and medium-term (2050) losses and damages from climate change?
  • How can losses and damages that cannot be quantified be reflected in such assessments?
  • What are key potential methodological issues for aggregating them and how could these be overcome?
  • What are the challenges and opportunities of modelling tools and how can these tools be most effectively applied? 

The workshop was held as a virtual event (using Zoom), under the Chatham House rule. The key outcomes of the discussion will be summarised in a short note following the workshop (with no attribution).



  • Balazs Stadler, Economist, Climate, Biodiversity and Water Division, Environment Directorate, OECD

Session 1:  Key issues (intangible losses; migration; ecosystems)


  • Petra Tschakert, Centenary Professor in Rural Development, University of Western Australia
  • Robert McLeman, Professor, Department of Geography and Environmental Studies, Wilfrid Laurier University
  • Ian Bateman, Professor of Environmental Economics, Director of the Land, Environment, Economics and Policy Institute, University of Exeter; Director of the South West Partnership for Environment & Economic Prosperity


  • Kira Vinke, Project lead for East Africa Peru India Climate Capacities, PIK
  • Reinhard Mechler, Lead Systemic Risk and Resilience Group, IIASA

Session 2: General methodological approaches


  • Solomon Hsiang, Co-director, Climate Impact Lab; Chancellor’s Professor of Public Policy, UC Berkeley
  • Stéphane Hallegatte, Lead Economist, Climate Change Group, World Bank
  • Adelle Thomas, Director, Climate Change Adaptation and Resilience Research Centre, University of Bahamas
  • Matthias Kalkuhl, Head of the Economic Growth and Human Development working group, MCC; Professor of Climate Change, Development and Economic Growth, University of Potsdam


  • Erica Thompson, Co-Director, Centre for Analysis of Time Series, LSE
  • Maisa Rojas, Director, Chile’s Centre for Climate and Resilience Research, Universidad de Chile; Associated Professor, Department of Geophysics, Univerisdad de Chile; Scientific Coordinator, COP25

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