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Loss and Damage Fund

Climate Justice Resilience Fund shares early insights from trailblazing community-led loss and damage projects
Katie Hill - Editor-in-Chief, My Green Pod
Movement for climate justice

A brief advocating the benefits of community-led approaches to climate-induced loss and damage has been published by the Climate Justice Resilience Fund, a leading grant-making organisation that puts people, their rights and their lived experience directly at the centre of climate action.
The brief, Implementing Loss and Damage Funding: Insights from Community-Led Projects, summarises learnings to date from a number of first-of-their-kind community-led loss and damage projects.

Insights from loss and damage projects

As the Transitional Committee on Loss and Damage prepared to conclude its final discussions ahead of COP28, CJRF urged those negotiating the Loss and Damage Fund to consider practical insights from existing projects.

It advised loss and damage funding needs to be able to support a diverse range of activities and that funding mechanisms should be designed with this in mind.

The organisation stressed that funding community-led measures to address loss and damage is not only possible, it is practical. Community leadership grounds activities in contextual realities and enables them to be relevant to those who have experienced the loss and damage.

Addressing loss and damage is not a ‘one and done’ activity; communities often continue to experience loss and damage on an ongoing basis, so funding needs to allow for an evolution of priorities over time. 

CJRF stressed that additionality is key: communities should not have to bear the burden of distinguishing adaptation from loss and damage.

Scotland funds loss and damage

Over the last year CJRF has programmed £1 million of loss and damage finance from the Scottish Government, the first wealthy country to specifically fund loss and damage.

Grants were awarded to a range of community-led loss and damage initiatives in some of the Global South countries worst impacted by climate breakdown.

The projects detailed in the brief are located in communities in Bangladesh, Malawi and Fiji, all of which have experienced one or more extreme climate-induced weather events.
The brief makes the case that ensuring the approaches are community-led enables meaningful and effective interventions. By enabling community-led loss and damage, those most affected are given agency, while their experience and wisdom is respected.

‘People around the world are facing serious consequences from climate impacts and need scaled-up support from the global community. As we outline in our brief, empowering and enabling community members – especially those often marginalised and excluded – allows for effective and equitable responses to the loss they have faced. By adopting a community-led approach to loss and damage, the global community can help to advance the agency of those most affected, respecting and upholding their experience and wisdom.’

Director of the Climate Justice Resilience Fund

Loss and damage at COP28

The learnings come less than a year after a historic agreement was made at COP27 to establish and operationalise a global Loss and Damage Fund.

As discussions around implementation of the fund continue, these early lessons from grants already implemented can help inform the distribution of subsequent finance channelled towards loss and damage.

The CJRF outlines in its report that in an ideal scenario, the UN-led fund will include a window specifically for community access that will enable locally determined ways of addressing loss and damage.

‘Ahead of and at COP28, wealthy countries have the opportunity to step up and support those suffering most from the impacts of the climate crisis, layered upon historical, non-climate-induced injustices.

‘We hope that our learnings will help inform forthcoming decisions about a community-led approach to addressing loss and damage, and make a clear case for the creation of a community window for the UN-created fund.’

Director of the Climate Justice Resilience Fund

Loss and damage costs

Estimates for loss and damage costs in developing countries range from $290-580 billion in 2030 and reach $1-1.8 trillion in 2050.

CJRF’s brief calls on negotiators, government funding agencies and philanthropists to take a stance for climate justice by channeling new and additional finance towards this challenge. 
At New York Climate Week in September the Scottish Government renewed its partnership with the Climate Justice Resilience Fund (CJRF) to deliver £5 million to address non-economic loss and damage in Global South communities.

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