Thanks in part to research and communications from WRI’s ACT2025 consortium, developed countries agreed at the UN climate summit (COP27) to establish a fund for helping developing countries address “losses and damages,” the impacts of climate change that are so severe they cannot be prevented or adapted to.

The Challenge

Some of the impacts of climate change are so severe or costly that communities simply cannot adapt to them. Typhoons can destroy families’ homes and take lives. Drought can cause life-threatening famine. Sea level rise can permanently inundate ancestral lands.

These devastating effects are known as “losses and damages,” and they’re felt most acutely in developing nations — those least responsible for producing climate-warming emissions. Yet for decades, wealthy nations resisted creating a dedicated fund for helping vulnerable countries address losses and damages.

WRI’s Role

WRI helped position loss and damage finance as a key issue at the 2022 UN Climate Summit in Egypt (COP27) and build support for a dedicated loss and damage fund.

WRI’s efforts through the ACT2025 consortium elevated the voices of vulnerable countries, issuing an Alliance Statement and a Call for Enhanced Implementation of the Paris Agreement to push wealthy nations to create a loss and damage fund at COP27 and outline how it could work. ACT2025 hosted webinars and events, organized North-South dialogues, and convened climate negotiators and other key stakeholders at the margins of the UN General Assembly and at COP27 to generate momentum.

WRI also engaged in a full communications campaign to raise awareness of the need for a loss and damage fund. Our experts authored insightful articles, published op-eds in the New York Times and other outlets, hosted more than a dozen well-attended press calls, and engaged heavily in social media outreach. 

The Outcome

After more than three decades of developed nations refusing to even discuss the issue, loss and damage was added to the COP27 agenda. By the end of the two-week summit, wealthy nations agreed to begin a process of creating a dedicated fund and broader funding arrangements for addressing losses and damages in vulnerable nations.

Governments are now hammering out the details of how the financing will work, with a goal to be fully designed for operationalization by COP28 in late 2023. WRI continues to provide analysis and thought leadership to shape the formation of the loss and damage fund.