Unheard, Uncharted: A Holistic Vision for Addressing Non-Economic Loss and Damage


As climate change takes hold across the world, millions of people are exposed ever more to climate risks and impacts. Many of these risks and impacts cannot be adequately measured with economic metrics. Whilst damage to infrastructure, agricultural production or assets, for example, can be given an economic cost, losses and damages to cultures, heritage, mental health and what people value cannot (and ought not) be given an economic equivalent.

Following the breakthrough agreement to establish a fund and new funding arrangements for addressing loss and damage at COP27, this paper seeks to deepen understanding of ‘non-economic’ loss and damage globally, including how it can be assessed and how it can be addressed. At COP28 and beyond, CRS urges leaders to address ‘non-economic’ losses and damages by taking action on the following:

  1. At COP28, Parties should agree to fully operationalise the Loss and Damage Fund and commit to funding arrangements which meet the full scale of needs, including both economic and non-economic losses and damages. 
  2. At COP28, Parties should agree to fully operationalise the Santiago Network for Loss and Damage, with a budget that is sufficient to assess and address ‘non-economic’ losses and damages. 
  3. The Global Stocktake should regard loss and damage as both a standalone and cross cutting issue on a par with mitigation, adaptation and means of implementation and support.
  4. The Inter-governmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) should do a special assessment report on Loss & Damage which specifically analyses ‘non-economic’ losses and damages to build greater understanding on the importance of the issue.
  5. Within the framework of the Global Goal on Adaptation, parties must integrate a comprehensive approach for inclusive and effective climate adaptation and disaster recovery. 
  6. At COP28, Parties must acknowledge the ‘non-economic’ losses and damages faced by climate displaced communities. 
Any effective strategy will require a comprehensive approach that must include strong participation from local, national, and global levels. CRS appeals to leaders to actively contribute to the above efforts, as further research continues to illuminate the best strategies for addressing ‘non-economic’ loss and damage.

Published November 2023