Attribution: How Is It Relevant for Loss and Damage Policy and Practice?
- Reinhard Mechler
- Laurens M. Bouwer
- Thomas Schinko
- Swenja Surminski
- JoAnne Linnerooth-Bayer
Summary, in English
In the political context of climate negotiations, questions about whether losses and damages can be attributed to anthropogenic climate change are often linked to issues of responsibility, blame, and liability.
Attribution science does not aim to establish responsibility or blame, but rather to investigate drivers of change.
Attribution science is advancing rapidly, and has potential to increase understanding of how climate variability and change is influencing slow onset and extreme weather events, and how this interacts with other drivers of risk, including socio-economic drivers, to influence losses and damages.
Over time, some uncertainties in the science will be reduced, as the anthropogenic climate change signal becomes stronger, and understanding of climate variability and change develops.
However, some uncertainties will not be eliminated. Uncertainty is common in science, and does not prevent useful applications in policy, but might determine which applications are appropriate. It is important to highlight that in attribution studies, the strength of evidence varies substantially between different kinds of slow onset and extreme weather events, and between regions. Policy-makers should not expect the later emergence of conclusive evidence about the influence of climate variability and change on specific incidences of losses and damages; and, in particular, should not expect the strength of evidence to be equal between events, and between countries.
Rather than waiting for further confidence in attribution studies, there is potential to start working now to integrate science into policy and practice, to help understand and tackle drivers of losses and damages, informing prevention, recovery, rehabilitation, and transformation.
- LUCSUS (Lund University Centre for Sustainability Studies)
Loss and Damage from Climate Change : Climate Risk Management, Policy and Governance
- Social Sciences Interdisciplinary
- ISBN: 978-3-319-72026-5
- ISBN: 978-3-319-72025-8