New report published on Loss and Damage caused to small island states by global warming and how to mitigate them

  • New publication “Loss and Damage and Climate Litigation: How can the Maldives and other Small Island Developing States (SIDs) position for greater climate action?”
  • Joint research by the United Nations Development Programme in the Maldives and the FS-UNEP Collaborating Centre for Climate & Sustainable Energy Finance
  • The report provides SIDs recommendations on how to mitigate losses and damages through initiatives like disaster risk and early warning strategies, while also advocating for improved accountability in climate litigation

As global temperatures rise, the Maldives and other SIDs are experiencing disproportionate consequences of climate change, despite their minimal contributions to global greenhouse gas emissions. The unique challenges SIDs are facing are analysed in the report “Loss and Damage and Climate Litigation: How can the Maldives and other Small Island Developing States (SIDs) position for greater climate action?” by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in the Maldives in collaboration with the FS-UNEP Collaborating Centre for Climate & Sustainable Energy Finance.

The paper underscores the urgency of the matter highlighted during the inaugural day of the UN Climate Conference (COP28) in Dubai from 30 November to 12 December with the decision to set up a Loss and Damage Fund. The significant climate finance gaps by SIDs and the need for action by the international community is emphasised by Kanni Wignaraja, UN Assistant Secretary-General and UNDP Regional Director for Asia and the Pacific, along with Enrico Gaveglia, UNDP Resident Representative in the Maldives in their foreword.

“The publication highlights relevant findings of the latest IPCC and other scientific sources, including relevant climate hazards, economic implications, and climate adaptation constraints for certain SIDs, like the Islands of the Maldives”, states Michael König from the FS-UNEP Centre.

The report examines the connections between climate litigation, and losses and damages. Anticipating a transformation in climate governance due to increased litigation, it provides thirteen recommendations for SIDs, like developing a disaster risk and loss and damage strategy, early warning systems, education initiatives, and implementing necessary reforms and establish policies, for the public and private sectors, to embrace this novel instrument of climate justice.

Mohamed Shahudh, Country Economist from UNDP Maldives, says, “SIDs are poised to benefit from new funding for loss and damage. The recommendations in this report will be useful for SIDs in preparing internal resource mobilisation strategies to access loss and damage funding in the future.”

Dr. Christine Grüning, Director at the FS-UNEP Centre concludes, “As we navigate the complex terrain of climate litigation, losses, and damages, the imperative lies in urging both public and private sectors to embrace necessary national reforms and policies. This innovative approach is not just a call for change but a collective commitment to building a resilient and sustainable future for all.”

The full publication is available for download here.