The concept of non-economic losses (NELs) has recently emerged in the context of negotiations on loss and damage under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). NELs are losses of values that are not commonly traded in markets but bear high relevance for those affected. Examples include loss of life, biodiversity and cultural heritage. The ongoing institutionalisation of approaches to loss and damage under the UNFCCC offers great opportunities to provide a sound information base for policy- and decision-making on NELs.
Available expertise to meet the emerging knowledge needs includes insights into relevant indicators, and adequate means of integrating NELs into decision-making processes that seek to reduce losses ex-ante. Further research is needed to identify or develop appropriate responses to NELs ex-post. Here, historical analogues of loss and practices of remembrance and recognition can provide valuable insights.
Opportunities for engagement exist at the UNFCCC’s science-policy interface. These include participation and active engagement at open meetings under the UNFCCC to advance exchange on applied research that is framed around policy-relevant questions on NELs as well as interaction with the expert group on NELs that was set up under the designated policy body to work on loss and damage under the UNFCCC, i.e. the Warsaw International Mechanism.
Carbon majors’ trillion dollar damages
In this report we explore who could pay for loss and damage through the lens of responsibility for historic emissions, and the financial gains generated from selling oil and gas.
Coastal loss and damage for small islands
This commentary on a paper in Nature Sustainability reviews how the study quantifies the impacts of sea-level rise on small island states and estimates the impacts in terms of cost, land loss and population exposure across all small islands worldwide.
Risks of synchronised low yields are underestimated in climate and crop model projections
This study finds that the jet stream – air currents in the upper atmosphere – can synchronise extreme weather caused by climate change, resulting in crop failures in multiple countries at the same time.
Research agenda for the loss and damage fund
This piece in Nature discusses what research could contribute to the design of the loss and damage fund.
Climate justice and loss and damage: Hurricane Dorian, Haitians and human rights
Haitian communities were the locus of the majority of deaths and missing people attributed to the 2019 Hurricane Dorian and faced a series of distributional, procedural and recognition injustices. We investigate the historical factors and contemporary conditions of Haitian communities in The Bahamas that resulted in significant inequities, disproportional impacts and infractions of human rights.
Assessment of adaptation potentials in the context of climate change: the case of tropical cyclones in the Caribbean
This report looks into the application of a natural catastrophe model that calculates climate risk and potential of adaptation in the Caribbean.
Loss and damage implications of sea-level rise on Small Island Developing States
This review assesses the regional nature of sea-level rise for Small Island Developing States, highlights associated impacts and risks, and reviews limits to adaptation and resultant economic and non-economic loss and damage.
Two steps down the debt spiral: COVID-19 and tropical cyclones severely limit the fiscal space of many Small Island Developing States
With tourism being one of the sectors most affected by Covid-19, many SIDS economies find themselves critically hit by the pandemic, adding to the continued financial stress through tropical cyclone-induced losses. Climate models project further risks.