The Issues of Loss and Damage Within the International Climate Law

21 Pages Posted: 19 Nov 2020 Last revised: 22 Dec 2020

Date Written: November 18, 2020


Climate change has become an important element on the international political agenda and presents the international community with new legal challenges. Some consensus was reached at the 1992 Conference of the Parties (COP) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). Since COP 16 (Cancun 2010) Loss and Damage (L&D) was accepted in international climate negotiations and on COP 19 (Warsaw 2013) the Warsaw International Mechanism (WIM) for loss and damage related to climate change impacts was established. At COP 21 (Paris 2015) with Article 8 of the Paris Agreement (PA), the topic of loss and damage officially entered a new international legal system. However, in paragraph 51 of Decision 1 / COP 21 to accept the PA any liability or compensation is expressly excluded from Article 8. Nevertheless, the concept of loss and damage has become an independent third pillar of the international climate regime and points to the negative effects of climate change, which cannot be avoided by adaptation and mitigation. The concept of loss and damage is expected to address the inevitable impacts of climate change, particularly affecting the most vulnerable least-developed countries (LDCs), low-lying developing countries and small island developing states (SIDS). The purpose of this article is to give an insight into the L&D discourse.

Keywords: Climate Change, Paris Agreement 2015, Loss and damage

Suggested Citation

Karimi-Schmidt, Yvonne, The Issues of Loss and Damage Within the International Climate Law (November 18, 2020). Graz Law Working Paper No 06-2020, Available at SSRN: or

Yvonne Karimi-Schmidt (Contact Author)

University of Graz - Faculty of Law


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