Loss and damage: Climate reality in the 21st Century

This joint report by CARE, ActionAid and WWF explains the current reality of loss and damage and outlines recommendations to ensure that the international community’s response to climate change in the 21st century can adequately address loss and damage during the UN climate negotiations at COP21 in Paris.

With the current global average temperature now at around 1°C above pre-industrial levels, poor people in developing countries are already suffering devastation from climate change impacts. It is therefore critical and urgent for vulnerable countries and communities to adapt to climate change impacts. Being prepared for changes in climate and severe weather events can reduce the impacts on people’s lives, their livelihoods and food security. For too long, however, action in cutting emissions and scaling-up adaptation has been utterly inadequate. As a result, more and more of these impacts are exceeding people’s ability to adapt.

Loss and damage is therefore now part of the reality of climate change, and must be tackled. Key demands of governments at COP21 include:

  • Emissions reductions: Limit global warming to below 1.5°C. Phase out the use of fossil fuels. Increase the use of renewable energy.
  • Scaling up adaptation: Massively increase Financial and other support to catalyse adaptation action at a scale needed to substantially reduce future losses and damages.
  • Address Loss and Damage: Anchor Loss and Damage, its mechanism and financial and technical support in the Paris agreement, and promote immediate action.
  • Countries: Global
  • Co-authors: ActionAid, WWF
  • Published: November 2015

Related Publications

Gender-transformative adaptation: From good practice to better policy

This paper investigates the concept of gender transformation within adaptation to climate change. Focusing explicitly on adaptation within the agriculture sector, the paper describes various cases where gender equality outcomes have been sought... Read more...


Practitioners guides, toolkits, and training manuals for integrated conservation and development projects

This paper seeks to summarise the best approaches for designing, implementing, and monitoring Integrated Conservation and Development Projects. It provides an annotated bibliography for field practitioners and technical advisors... Read more...


We bend, we do not break: Resilient communities dealing with disaster and climate change

Disasters have strongly increased in both frequency and impact, with climate change as one of the main contributors to more extreme, frequent, and unpredictable weather. This report highlights how the implementation of an Integrated Risk... Read more...


Good practices for integrating gender equality and women’s empowerment in climate-smart agriculture programmes

The publication provides guidance, tools and examples of the successful integration of gender equality and women’s empowerment (GEWE) in climate-smart agriculture work. It demonstrates the necessity and benefits of incorporating a GEWE... Read more...


Suffering in Silence: The 10 most under-reported humanitarian crises of 2018

The globe is scarred by violence and disasters. Yet, some crises receive less media coverage than others. The aim of this report is to highlight those crises that, though large, have received little public... Read more...


Insuring for a changing climate - A review and reflection on CARE’s experience with microinsurance

The impact of climate change is already having devastating effects on lives and livelihoods. Planning and programming to strengthen climate resilience is now commonplace in development interventions. As part of a set of disaster risk financing... Read more...


Suffering in silence: The 10 most under-reported humanitarian crises of 2017

The year 2017 was marked by scores of humanitarian crises: armed conflicts, natural disasters, climate shocks, hunger, displacement. While most of these crises made the headlines, there are others which barely made the news. And when crises are... Read more...


Cash in crisis: The case of Zimbabwe’s ‘Cash First’ humanitarian response

Based on the experience of delivering the first large-scale humanitarian cash programme in Zimbabwe, this briefing paper argues that even during a liquidity crisis, cash transfer programming can still be a feasible option, giving people greater... Read more...


Managing cash-based programmes in a volatile markets context

This case study of the first large-scale humanitarian cash programme in Zimbabwe presents learning and recommendations on how to design and adapt cash transfer programmes to mitigate the risk of a cash liquidity... Read more...


Partnering with Mobile Network Operators in Zimbabwe to deliver humanitarian cash transfers

This case study explores the partnership between CARE International and World Vision with two mobile network operators to deliver the first humanitarian cash transfer programme to be carried out on a large scale in... Read more...