© 2019

Loss and Damage from Climate Change

Concepts, Methods and Policy Options

  • Reinhard Mechler
  • Laurens M. Bouwer
  • Thomas Schinko
  • Swenja Surminski
  • JoAnne Linnerooth-Bayer


  • First comprehensive stocktaking exercise highlighting the state of the art of research, political debate and policy options on Loss and Damage and the debate on risks "beyond adaptation"

  • Articulates principles and definitions of Loss and Damage, and highlights ethical and normative issues central to the discourse

  • Identifies practical and evidence-based policy and implementation options for its operationalization

Open Access

Part of the Climate Risk Management, Policy and Governance book series (CRMPG)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xxii
  2. Setting the Stage: Key Concepts, Challenges and Insights

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 1-1
    2. Reinhard Mechler, Elisa Calliari, Laurens M. Bouwer, Thomas Schinko, Swenja Surminski, JoAnne Linnerooth-Bayer et al.
      Pages 3-37 Open Access
    3. Ivo Wallimann-Helmer, Lukas Meyer, Kian Mintz-Woo, Thomas Schinko, Olivia Serdeczny
      Pages 39-62 Open Access
  3. Critical Issues Shaping the Discourse

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 111-111
    2. Rachel A. James, Richard G. Jones, Emily Boyd, Hannah R. Young, Friederike E. L. Otto, Christian Huggel et al.
      Pages 113-154 Open Access
    3. Elisa Calliari, Swenja Surminski, Jaroslav Mysiak
      Pages 155-178 Open Access
    4. Florentina Simlinger, Benoit Mayer
      Pages 179-203 Open Access
    5. Olivia Serdeczny
      Pages 205-220 Open Access
    6. Kees van der Geest, Alex de Sherbinin, Stefan Kienberger, Zinta Zommers, Asha Sitati, Erin Roberts et al.
      Pages 221-236 Open Access
    7. Alison Heslin, Natalie Delia Deckard, Robert Oakes, Arianna Montero-Colbert
      Pages 237-258 Open Access
  4. Research and Practice: Reviewing Methods and Tools

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 259-259
    2. Ana Lopez, Swenja Surminski, Olivia Serdeczny
      Pages 261-285 Open Access
    3. W. J. Wouter Botzen, Laurens M. Bouwer, Paolo Scussolini, Onno Kuik, Marjolijn Haasnoot, Judy Lawrence et al.
      Pages 287-315 Open Access
    4. Laura Schäfer, Koko Warner, Sönke Kreft
      Pages 317-341 Open Access
    5. Anil Markandya, Mikel González-Eguino
      Pages 343-362 Open Access
  5. Geographic Perspectives and Cases

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 363-363
    2. John Handmer, Johanna Nalau
      Pages 365-381 Open Access

About this book


This book provides an authoritative insight on the Loss and Damage discourse by highlighting state-of-the-art research and policy linked to this discourse and articulating its multiple concepts, principles and methods. Written by leading researchers and practitioners, it identifies practical and evidence-based policy options to inform the discourse and climate negotiations.

With climate-related risks on the rise and impacts being felt around the globe has come the recognition that climate mitigation and adaptation may not be enough to manage the effects from anthropogenic climate change. This recognition led to the creation of the Warsaw International Mechanism on Loss and Damage in 2013, a climate policy mechanism dedicated to dealing with climate-related effects in highly vulnerable countries that face severe constraints and limits to adaptation.  Endorsed in 2015 by the Paris Agreement and effectively considered a third pillar of international climate policy, debate and research on Loss and Damage continues to gain enormous traction. Yet, concepts, methods and tools as well as directions for policy and implementation have remained contested and vague.

Suitable for researchers, policy-advisors, practitioners and the interested public, the book furthermore:

•         discusses the political, legal, economic and institutional dimensions of the issue
•         highlights normative questions central to the discourse
•         provides a focus on climate risks and climate risk management
•         presents salient case studies from around the world.


Climate Change management Climate risks Climate Justice Disaster risk management Climate Policy Climate insurance Loss and damage mechanism Open Acess

Editors and affiliations

  • Reinhard Mechler
    • 1
  • Laurens M. Bouwer
    • 2
  • Thomas Schinko
    • 3
  • Swenja Surminski
    • 4
  • JoAnne Linnerooth-Bayer
    • 5
  1. 1.International Institute for Applied Systems AnalysisLaxenburgAustria
  2. 2.DeltaresDelftThe Netherlands
  3. 3.International Institute for Applied Systems AnalysisLaxenburgAustria
  4. 4.London School of EconomicsLondonUK
  5. 5.International Institute for Applied Systems AnalysisLaxenburgAustria

Bibliographic information


“Loss and Damage from Climate Change is a very welcome addition to the continuously growing body of work on L&D. More than a review of the state-of-the-art, the book also acts as a positive heuristic for L&D scholarship, pointing the way forward for new comers and seasoned veterans alike. The editors and contributing authors are all to be commended for producing such a comprehensive, thought provoking and accessible guide … .” (Chad S. Boda, Climatic Change, Vol. 156, 2019)

“Though highly specialized, the text is well written and stands as the best compendium yet written on the topic. … Recommended. Graduate students through faculty and professionals.” (R. E. O'Connor, Choice, Vol. 57 (2), October, 2019)