Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Loss and damage funding officially included in the COP27 agenda

GS  Paper 3

Syllabus: Bilateral, Regional and Global Groupings and Agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests


Source: DTE

 Context: At the 27th Conference of Parties (COP27) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt, countries have agreed to discuss providing financial support to address loss and damage caused by climate change.



  • Climate change driven by humans has already warmed the earth by 1.1 degrees Celsius, and millions of people are now feeling the effects of rising temperatures and extreme weather events.
  • This means that certain climate change losses and damages are unavoidable.
  • The decision to discuss loss and damage at COP27 follows recent climate disasters in Europe (worst drought in 500 years), Pakistan (worst ever flooding) and heat waves in many regions of the world.


About Loss and damage:

  • It is used in UN climate negotiations to express the effects of climate change that outweigh people’s ability to adapt.
  • It is disproportionately affecting vulnerable communities, making addressing the issue a matter of climate justice.
  • While the UNFCCC has not defined loss and damage precisely, it is caused by extreme weather events (cyclones, droughts, heatwaves) and slow-onset changes (sea level rise, desertification, ocean acidification).
  • Climate change damages can be classified as economic losses or non-economic losses (such as loss of life).


Evolution of the concept:

  • The appropriate response to loss and damage has been debated since the early 1990s when the UNFCCC was founded.
  • Establishing accountability and compensation for loss and destruction has long been an aim for the most vulnerable Least Developed Countries Group.
  • However, historically blamed for the climate catastrophe, rich countries have overlooked the concerns of vulnerable countries.
  • Following extensive pressure from developing countries, the Warsaw International Mechanism (WIM) on Loss and Damages was founded in 2013 with no funding mechanism.
  • However, during the 2021 COP26 climate summit in Glasgow, a 3-year task force was established to consider a funding arrangement for loss and damage.
  • So far, Canada, Denmark, Germany, New Zealand, Scotland and the Belgian province of Wallonia have all expressed interest in loss and damage funding.


Significance of including loss and damage in the main agenda of COP27:

  • This will have the effect of mainstreaming the issue, requiring more frequent talks and progress.
  • This has reignited the fight for justice on behalf of communities that have lost their livelihood.



  • Inclusion on the formal agenda is just the beginning and the actual provision for climate disaster compensation is still a long way away.
  • Getting the rich and developed nations to contribute money has been a challenging battle.
  • Also, calculating loss due to climate change is difficult.


Way ahead:

  • The COP27 must agree to create a Loss and Damage Finance Facility to help people and nations recover from the effects of climate change.
  • India-backed Mission LiFE – a global mass effort to re-establish the delicate balance between man and nature – must be the primary strategy for combating climate change.


Insta Links:

We need a forest-led COP27