Weather and climate-related loss and damage (L&D) have increased dramatically over the past few decades. The most recent climate projections predict a significant rise in the frequency and/or intensity of extreme weather events. This is coupled by slow onset events, such as rising sea levels and soil degradation.
Greenhouse gas mitigation and adaptation measures can ease the negative impacts of climate change, but they cannot completely prevent them and residual risk remains. It is for this reason that L&D has become an increasingly important aspect of negotiations under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). And it is also the reason for the establishment of the Warsaw International Mechanism for Loss and Damage (WIM). The importance of L&D is further underlined in the Paris Agreement, which – alongside mitigation and adaptation – dedicates a stand-alone article to L&D under the UNFCCC.
The approaches and methods used to date for risk assessment and management do not take adequate account of loss and damage, the associated (non-) economic costs or slow onset events brought about by climate change. This underscores the challenges involved in developing and rolling out comprehensive methods and measures for assessing and managing climate change risks.
German development cooperation and its international partners have access to tried-and-tested concepts providing guidance on climate risk assessment and management which they can apply in regions that are particularly vulnerable to climate change.
The programme focuses on applying and advancing methods, measures and concepts for the assessment and comprehensive management of climate risks. Accessing and disseminating new findings and experience and fostering dialogue on climate risks and L&D constitute essential aspects of this work. On the one hand, the aim is enable institutions in partner regions to hone their implementation skills and, on the other, to foster international debate.
The programme supports Germany’s Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) with international climate negotiations relating to the International Warsaw Mechanism on Loss and Damage (WIM) and to topics of climate risk management, including climate-induced migration and climate risk insurance.
Building on German development cooperation’s experience with climate change adaptation and disaster risk management, the programme is piloting selected measures in partner regions. Currently that includes in India, the Pacific Community and a number of countries in Central America and East Africa.
Initial risk assessments piloted in partner regions have generated trailblazing insights and experiences that can be used for classification and (non-) economic evaluation as well as for identifying and prioritising climate risk management measures. These results are the cornerstone of any future work and a major contribution to the ongoing development of corresponding methods and approaches.
The development of the training course on ‘Loss and damage as part of comprehensive climate risk management’ and the rollout of pilot training sessions have successfully helped build capacity and promote dialogue in the partner regions.
Events and knowledge products have also been instrumental in initiating exchanges of knowledge and experience and in completing essential groundwork.