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Evaluating progress on loss and damage: an assessment of the Executive Committee of the Warsaw International Mechanism under the UNFCCC

Johansson, Angelica; Calliari, Elisa; Walker-Crawford, Noah; Hartz, Friederike; McQuistan, Colin; Vanhala, Lisa; (2022) Evaluating progress on loss and damage: an assessment of the Executive Committee of the Warsaw International Mechanism under the UNFCCC. Climate Policy 10.1080/14693062.2022.2112935. (In press). Green open access

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Abstract

The Warsaw International Mechanism for Loss and Damage Associated with Climate Change Impacts (WIM) was established in 2013, and its Executive Committee (ExCom) is developing a new five-year workplan. Seizing this opportune moment to assess institutional progress on the issue of loss and damage under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) we address two research questions: (1) Has the ExCom delivered on its workplans to date, and (2) how has the ExCom’s progress varied across thematic areas? Drawing on public documentary sources, we assess the effectiveness and timeliness of the delivery of activities across five thematic areas: slow onset events; non-economic losses; comprehensive risk management approaches; human mobility; and finance, action and support. We find that there has been progress across the thematic areas, but that it has varied in pace. Delays are associated with activities from the two-year workplan being moved into the first five-year workplan or being devolved to the more recently established expert groups. Our results also show that decisions from the Conference of the Parties (COP) or the COP serving as the Meeting of the Parties to the Paris Agreement (CMA) have played a critical role in accelerating specific aspects of the ExCom’s work. Finally, we note that the ExCom is increasingly relying on its expert groups and their members to deliver many activities. This research advances our understanding of the nature and pace of progress on this issue, and raises new questions about the politics of global climate policy implementation. KEY POLICY INSIGHTS The WIM ExCom’s workplans are characterized by broad goals and are ambiguous about start dates and deadlines. To enhance accountability, future workplans would benefit from clearly defined objectives, outcomes, and timelines. The workplans do not seem to constitute strong commitments: Parties make use of COP/CMA decisions to strengthen the workplans by mandating specific activities or deadlines, adding new activities and prioritizing among existing ones. The politics of implementation merits greater attention: wider political dynamics around loss and damage shape the pace of the ExCom’s supposedly technical work. One example is the delayed establishment of the expert group on action and support.

Type: Article
Title: Evaluating progress on loss and damage: an assessment of the Executive Committee of the Warsaw International Mechanism under the UNFCCC
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1080/14693062.2022.2112935
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/14693062.2022.2112935
Language: English
Additional information: © 2022 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/), which permits non-commercial re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited, and is not altered, transformed, or built upon in any way.
Keywords: Science & Technology, Social Sciences, Life Sciences & Biomedicine, Environmental Studies, Public Administration, Environmental Sciences & Ecology, Loss and damage, climate governance, climate change, climate negotiations, WIM ExCom, FUTURE
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS > Dept of Political Science
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10155084
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