As a key issue for COP27, with climate impacts proliferating around the world and affecting the most vulnerable, the integration of the Loss&Damage policy domain into broader climate policy requires further attention. The brief lays out a framework that shows how gaps with regard to adaptation, protection and response need further attention and can be integrated into a climate policy framework for reducing, addressing and responding to losses and damages. When attending to gaps, attention is to be spent on scaling up response mechanisms and interventions that have proven to be effective, are locally led, and meet the specific needs of the communities they support.

Global failures to comprehensively mitigate greenhouse gas emissions as well as to adapt to the climate crisis are causing massive losses and costly damages to the lives, livelihoods, and futures of communities around the world, particularly affecting the most vulnerable.

Yet, more evidence is needed at national, subnational, and community levels to fully understand the scale and scope of losses and damages in order to inform concrete, practical action, and to formulate effective policies in the face of rising climate-related risks and impacts.

To this effect, a policy brief by the Zurich Flood Resilience Alliance co-authored by IIASA discusses realities in vulnerable communities and lays out a framework for understanding policies and actions to address losses and damages and inform the Loss&Damage policy debate (see here for a visual explainer to understand losses and damages and the corresponding policy debate). The brief will be complemented by a comprehensive report presenting evidence from vulnerable countries and recommendations for policy and practice.

The brief discusses how in Bangladesh, Indonesia, and Nepal flooding and associated losses and damages are already increasing, whether from coastal, riverine, and pluvial floods in Bangladesh; glacial lake outbursts and flash floods in Nepal; or storm surges in coastal areas of Indonesia. In effect, vulnerable countries and households are shouldering the economic costs of climate change and climate change is thus undermining human wellbeing.

The policy brief and expertise of working with flood prone communities across the globe will be presented at a COP27 side event by Zurich Flood Resilience Alliance NGO partners Mercy Corps, IFRC, Concern Worldwide and Plan International on Thursday, 10 Nov 2022.­

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29 November 2022 Laxenburg, Austria (IIASA) and Online

GAINS Model Community meeting

30 November 2022 Austrian Academy of Sciences, Vienna, Austria

Population and Climate Change: The Defining Relationship of the 21st Century