"Loss and damage" refers to adverse effects of climate variability and change that communities and societies have not (yet) been able to cope with or adapt to. It includes impacts of extreme weather events, such as cyclones, floods, droughts and heat waves, and slow-onset climatic changes, such as sea level rise, higher temperatures, changing rainfall patterns and desertification. These climate threats can cause loss and damage in the areas of people's food, livelihood and security, but also in the social, health and cultural domains.
It is increasingly acknowledged that there are limitations to people's and societies' capacity to adapt to climate change without incurring significant losses and damages, especially in poorer developing countries. In this vein, some leading scholars call for a paradigm shift in climate change research. Mitigation and adaptation, they argue, are limited to prevention of impact and preclude a sound vision on how to deal with losses and damages after they occur. However, empirical research in this field is scattered and scarce.
This special issue is intended to make a major contribution to the emerging body of knowledge on the impacts of climate change beyond adaptation. Secondly, it will serve to assist national and international organisations to design better policies to address loss and damage from climate change.
The issue will carry revised and substantially extended versions of selected papers presented at the United Nations University Scientific Conference: “Perspectives on Loss & Damage: Society, Climate Change, and Decision Making” (25-28 February, 2013), but we also strongly encourage researchers unable to participate in the conference to submit articles for this call.
Suitable topics include, but are not limited to:
Is loss and damage a physical impact or a socially mediated outcome?
- State-of-science on climate change impacts that contribute to loss and damage
- Human impacts of climate change in vulnerable countries
- Consequences of impacts: loss and damage in terms of social organisation, economics, politics and culture
- Scales of loss and damage now and in the future
- Empirical findings about loss and damage in case studies
- Community-level research on loss and damage
- National and regional level views and research on loss and damage
- Crisis or state change?
- Adaptation and limits to adaptation vis-à-vis climatic extremes and incremental slow onset climate change
- Vulnerability and resilience
- Formal or informal decision pathways – framing decision making around loss and damage?
- Perspectives on loss and damage and their repercussions for decision making
Submission deadline: 31 March, 2013
First-round reviews: 31 July, 2013
Final version: 30 September, 2013