A typology of loss and damage perspectives

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article


Loss and Damage (L&D) has been the subject of contentious debate in international climate policy for several decades. Recently, formal mechanisms on L&D have been established, but arguably through unclear language. This ambiguity is politically important, but researchers and practitioners require clearer understandings of L&D. Here we report on the first in-depth empirical study of actor perspectives, including interviews with 38 key stakeholders in research, practice, and policy. We find points of agreement and also important distinctions in terms of: the relationship between L&D and adaptation, the emphasis on avoiding versus addressing L&D, the relevance of anthropogenic climate change, and the role of justice. A typology of four perspectives is identified, with different implications for research priorities and actions to address L&D. This typology enables improved understanding of existing perspectives and so has potential to facilitate more transparent discussion of the options available to address L&D.


  • Emily Boyd
  • Rachel A. James
  • Richard G. Jones
  • Hannah R. Young
  • Friederike E L Otto
External organisations
  • University of Reading
  • University of Oxford
  • University of Cape Town
  • Met Office
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Climate Research
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)723-729
Number of pages7
JournalNature Climate Change
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 2017 Sep 29
Publication categoryResearch