Addressing Loss and Damage conference - practical action: summary report

In October 2022, Scotland hosted a conference which brought together international representatives and practitioners to articulate best practice and explore innovative new opportunities to mobilise finance for, and address Loss and Damage ahead of COP27.

First Minister’s Foreword

Nicola Sturgeon
First Minister of Scotland

For more than three decades, the issue of loss and damage has been championed by governments, communities and activists across the Global South. Yet for 30 years, their calls have gone largely unanswered.

The year since COP26 has presented us with ever more unavoidable proofs of the increasing impact of climate change on lives across the world. The suffering of those who have contributed least to climate change is, unequivocally, an issue of climate justice.

Climate change, as the floods in Pakistan, drought in the Horn of Africa and wildfires scattered across continents show, threatens fundamental human rights of life, health, food, water. We cannot uphold human rights without addressing loss and damage.

Urgent practical action must deliver support to the most vulnerable now. While discussions at COP27 are crucial, we all have a stake in loss and damage and those who want to act can do so now. I hope this report will help them decide how.

At the opening of the conference that this report synthesises, I and my fellow speakers were asked to propose some principles that might guide our loss and damage action.

My own feeling is that we must act urgently with finance sources that are separate and additional Countries cannot simply repackage funding already committed to other climate priorities. No single solution can address the variety and scale of loss and damage impacts. We must deploy the full range of solutions available from private and public sources.

Finally, it is clear that finance for loss and damage should not generate or compound debt for those it aims to support, leaving developing countries less able to respond to future climate impacts. Communities are already paying in loss of land, jobs, cultures, ecosystems and lives. Our support must break, not reinforce, this cycle.

Appetite for action is growing. At COP26 Scotland acknowledged its moral responsibility to address climate loss and damage when I pledged £2m of government finance to support practical action in some of the world’s most climate vulnerable countries.

Our commitment aimed to mobilise and inspire further action among those who share our moral responsibility – state and non-state. This sum, dwarfed as it is by the scale of the issue, was followed by commitments from Wallonia, Denmark, and from philanthropies, including the Children’s Investment Fund Foundation. I urge all to follow their example.

We recognise this report does not, and cannot, provide all the answers. Rather it is a synthesis of insights reflecting the deep expertise and experience of the delegates that came together at the conference. I hope it plays a part in escalating loss and damage action, at COP27 and beyond.



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