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Loss and Damage after Paris: Moving Beyond Rhetoric

Veera Pekkarinen, Patrick Toussaint, Harro van Asselt


The successful adoption and rapid entry into force of the Paris Agreement has been hailed as a milestone for global climate governance. However, mitigation and adaptation efforts pursued under the treaty are unlikely to prevent harm resulting from residual climate impacts. Even after Paris, loss and damage from adverse climate impacts continues to be a hotly debated issue in the climate negotiations under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). The article assesses the progress made on loss and damage under the UNFCCC, including developments in the Warsaw International Mechanism (WIM) and the Paris rulebook. It further considers approaches to address loss and damage outside the UNFCCC, including climate litigation and insurance, and assesses their potential to strengthen the work of the WIM. The article then charts possible future directions for the UNFCCC response to loss and damage and provides timely recommendations for the review of the WIM at COP 25.

Veera Pekkarinen is PhD Candidate, University of Eastern Finland. For Correspondence: <> ; Patrick Toussaint is PhD Candidate, University of Eastern Finland; and Research Associate, Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies. For Correspondence: <>; Harro van Asselt is Professor of Climate Law and Policy, University of Eastern Finland; and Senior Research Fellow, Stockholm Environment Institute. For Correspondence: <>


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