Loss and Damage: An Introduction to Paragraph 51 and Compensation
Climate impacts are unjust and force many of our countries into spirals of emergency and reconstruction. Loss and damage continually harms the development of our peoples and is an existential threat. It is important to recognize that, despite climate action, mitigation or adaptation implemented or promised so far, it is not feasible to avoid or minimize all impacts of climate change and therefore, our societies are currently experiencing these losses and damages. It is important to recognize that, despite the climate action, mitigation or adaptation implemented or promised to date, it is not feasible to avoid or minimize all the impacts of climate change and therefore our societies are currently experiencing these damages and losses.
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has mentioned that “residual damage caused by climate change can be expected to occur, despite adaptation and mitigation actions”. Loss and damage disproportionately affects people living in vulnerable conditions, indigenous peoples, women, children, and people with disabilities. People who are socially, economically, culturally, politically, institutionally or otherwise marginalized are especially vulnerable to climate change. The adverse impacts of climate change affect the enjoyment of human rights, including the right to food, water, sanitation, health, adequate housing and life.The most vulnerable people are forced to assume the loss and damage caused by climate change on their own while they bear the least responsibility for causing this crisis.
The climate impacts suffered by the “Global South” as a result of climate change have their cause in the historical enjoyment of carbon emissions made by the countries of the Northern Hemisphere for their development. The negative impact generated by climate change on human and ecosystemic well-being is exponential and, to this day, the data relevant to emissions reduction does not allow us to ensure a decent future for the Global South