News | COP 24 en An Era where no one is paying up

Loss and damage are euphemisms for ‘liability and compensation.’


Houses destroyed by typhoon Hayan
A destroyed house on the outskirts of Tacloban on Leyte island. This region was the worst affected by typhoon Hayan in 2013., CC BY 2.0, Trocaire/Wikimedia Commons

‘Loss and damage’ are very much disputed as to what they really mean. As is typical with many negotiated texts, words are ambiguous by design and as such are very much open to interpretation and contestation. These terms have become hugely important to developing countries and climate justice advocates at the negotiations, and a big headache for developed countries. This is because for many governments, both North and South, ‘loss and damage’ may as well be euphemisms for ‘liability and compensation.’