Climate loss and damage: practical action

The report is a synthesis of different views and analyses of practical action for addressing climate loss and damage. It considers mobilising and innovative finance, assessing needs and delivering actions.

First Minister's Foreword

When Scotland held the conference Addressing Loss and Damage: Practical Action in October 2022, we looked ahead to COP27 in certainty of the need for international action on loss and damage, but with some doubt as to how much COP27 would deliver. Now, with the decision in Sharm el Sheikh to establish a UNFCCC Loss and Damage Fund, the landscape looks far more positive.

COP27 marked a turning point for Loss and Damage, with progress on operationalising the Santiago Network accompanying the headline fund decision. Alongside commitments from Belgium, Canada, France, Germany, Ireland and New Zealand, I was delighted to announce a further £5 million of support for loss and damage from the Scottish Government's Climate Justice Fund – building on the £2 million I announced at COP26. This £5 million will be directed toward non-economic loss and damage from both sudden and slow onset events, in recognition of this specific but not well understood need.

The work to operationalise the UNFCCC fund and mobilise the huge volume of finance that is needed from a mosaic of funding sources is just beginning. The next step is for funders, practitioners and impacted communities to identify the most impactful ways to deploy the resources countries have agreed to, in order to deliver practical action that improves people's lives.

The conference held in October 2022 by the Scottish Government in collaboration with the UN Climate Change High Level Champions and Global Resilience Partnership, brought together international representatives and practitioners to articulate best practice and explore innovative opportunities to address and finance loss and damage. Contributors presented more than 30 case studies of action already being taken.

This report draws together the evidence presented in those case studies to explore some of the key issues faced by communities, governments, donors, the private sector and others working to address inescapable climate impacts in their regions, countries and systems. It sets this evidence within the post-COP27 landscape and provides an analysis of the available funding for different types of action. Finally, it proposes a set of ten key insights for consideration by those taking action to address loss and damage.

These insights are, for me, the centre of this report. The impacts of climate change are increasing in intensity, leading to devastating infrastructure damages, huge financial losses and profound non-economic costs. Communities on the front line of the crisis who have contributed the least to the problem suffer first and worst. To succeed for these communities, loss and damage action must be guided by shared principles and funding must meet benchmarks in quality as well as volume.

After 30 years of relentless campaigning by actors from the Global South, COP27 delivered a first victory. I hope this report helps to build upon that victory by accelerating both finance and action for loss and damage, and informing how it can be best deployed.



Back to top