Open Access Article

Title: Establishing institutional arrangements on loss and damage under the UNFCCC: the Warsaw International Mechanism for Loss and Damage

Authors: Doreen Stabinsky; Juan P. Hoffmaister

Addresses: College of the Atlantic, 105 Eden Street, Bar Harbor, ME 04660, USA ' Climate Change Programme, Universidad de la Cordillera, Calle Man Cesped #500 (prolongacion), Zona La Florida, La Paz, Bolivia

Abstract: Both the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and non-governmental organisations have begun to point out that there are significant and serious limits to adaptive capacity and possible adaptation to climate change, particularly to slow-onset impacts such as sea level rise, glacial retreat, desertification, and ocean acidification. The legal obligation to act established under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change and this growing recognition of adaptation limits has elevated the issue of loss and damage in ongoing negotiations. In this paper, we review the evolution, foundations, and rationale for the establishment of the Warsaw International Mechanism for Loss and Damage (WIM) under the Convention, in particular, the role of the Convention in systematically addressing loss and damage in developing countries that are particularly vulnerable to the adverse effects of climate change. We also contribute some forward thinking on how to address needs of developing countries in the context of the operationalisation of the mechanism.

Keywords: United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change; UNFCCC; loss and damage; adaptation; state responsibility; slow onset events; institutional arrangements; Warsaw international mechanism; climate change impact; developing countries; sea level rise; glacial retreat; desertification; ocean acidification.

DOI: 10.1504/IJGW.2015.071967

International Journal of Global Warming, 2015 Vol.8 No.2, pp.295 - 318

Received: 27 Jun 2013
Accepted: 01 Jun 2014

Published online: 25 Sep 2015 *