Challenges and Opportunities for Understanding Non-economic Loss and Damage

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A decision was made at the UNFCCC, COP-18 meeting in Doha in 2012 to create a work programme on loss and damage. Part of this programme was to include the production of a technical paper to enhance the general understanding of non-economic losses from climate change. The following article looks carefully at that paper in order to discover whether it provides an adequate conceptual understanding of non-economic losses. Several shortcomings of the paper’s conceptualization of these losses are identified. An alternative ethical framework with methods better suited for capturing a fuller range of non-economic losses is considered. This framework is likely to be most useful if used prospectively for the purpose of devising better adaptation policies to head off potential future losses rather than if used retrospectively for quantifying losses that have already occurred for the purposes of providing compensation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)143-155
Number of pages13
JournalEthics, Policy and Environment
Issue number2
StatePublished - May 4 2017


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