Loss and Damage: Unpacking the Doha Decision 3/CP.18


Loss and Damage: Unpacking the Doha Decision 3/CP.18

A detailed look at the Doha decision to address loss and damage associated with the adverse impact of climate change

Cover Unpacking the Doha Decision

The Doha UNFCCC conference in December 2012 yielded the Doha Gateway. The deal could be described by gradual advances on the technical level
in a condition of overall absence of political will to mount the challenge of climate change. Though the 2nd commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol could be locked in, and Parties were also able to agree on a time plan for the negotiations leading to a new agreement, the overall progress on mitigation targets and provision of finance - essential parameters for international climate cooperation – was meagre and sobering.

With the daunting realization that mitigation of greenhouse emissions is coming late, and concomitant impacts are already overburdening countries especially vulnerable and exposed ones, loss and damage made it to the forefront of the adaptation negotiation. It eventually became one of the themes of the Doha conference discussed at ministerial level. The Doha decision on L&D, and especially the commitment to institutionalize it at the next COP – for instance in the form of a mechanism – was applauded in particular by developing country delegations, climate and social justice movements and civil society. The media response triggered clarification responses of some developed countries, such as the UK and Australia, which reacted with ministerial statements on their interpretation of the Doha decision.

This paper aims to explain the loss and damage decision that was crafted in Doha and interpret its significance.

Sönke Kreft
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