A road in the Caribbean nation of St Lucia was washed away after heavy rain.

Climate change and development Protection against loss and damage

Extreme weather events such as floods and droughts are becoming more frequent and more intensive as a result of climate change. In addition, the world is faced with slow-onset climate change impacts such as rising sea levels, desertification, and melting glaciers. The German Development Ministry assists people and countries in the Global South in adapting to such change, preparing for risks, and, where adaptation is not sufficient, managing loss and damage in the best possible way.

See also
Construction of a embankment on the banks of the Mayur River in the town of Khulna in south-western Bangladesh
Glacier in Iceland

The impact of climate change is posing a threat to many people's livelihoods and to sustainable development worldwide. The least developed countries and small island developing states (SIDS) – and marginalised population groups – are hardest hit by this impact, even though they have contributed least to climate change.

That is why the BMZ is putting a strong focus on assisting people and countries in adapting to the consequences of climate change and becoming more resilient to its impacts.

However, in some cases adaptation measures are simply not affordable, or unacceptable to the public, or technically not feasible. In such instances, climate change may result in economic losses and damages such as crop loss from droughts and destruction of homes and businesses by storms. However, there may also be non-economic losses and damages such as displacement, biodiversity loss, and even the loss of traditions, languages, and people's living environments. The losses and damages caused by climate change are posing major challenges for many people and countries.

Germany is addressing this through its development policy, assisting countries and people in developing solutions to prepare for, and protect themselves against, loss and damage.

Video: Loss and damage

Still from the BMZ video "Loss and damage"
The impacts of climate change can be felt in all countries of the world and threaten the livelihoods of many people in the most vulnerable countries. For a long time now, the world has been discussing this issue at the international climate negotiations. Germany, through the Development Ministry, has been working to help particularly vulnerable people and countries to deal with loss and damage. 
Integrated climate risk management cycle

Integrated climate risk management cycle

Integrated climate risk management cycle

What the BMZ is doing

Global Shield against Climate Risks. The G7 and the V20 (Vulnerable Twenty, an alliance of countries that are particularly vulnerable to climate change) are jointly expanding efforts in the field of loss and damage protection and preparedness. The purpose of the Shield is to develop financial protection solutions – in line with each country's needs – that facilitate quick and targeted disbursement of funds when extreme weather events cause climate-related damage. The initiative was launched at the climate conference in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, in 2022. It is now being piloted in eight Pathfinder Countries and one region. Following the 2023 global climate change conference in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, other interested countries are now invited to apply for support from the Global Shield via a selection process. Details can be found here (External link).

International climate negotiations. Under the heading of Loss and Damage, discussions are under way among the parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) about how to deal with this challenge worldwide and how to provide better financial and technical assistance to vulnerable countries in the future. At the global climate change conference in Dubai, decisions were taken on the design of global support structures for particularly vulnerable developing countries to assist them in dealing with loss and damage. A new fund is intended to play a key role in this architecture. However, it is also planned to rely on further instruments, called funding arrangements, to complement the fund in supporting countries and people as they deal with loss and damage.

The Global Shield against Climate Risks, which constitutes a funding arrangement for a preparedness-based approach to extreme weather events, has already done important work to pave the way for this. In addition, the Santiago Network for technical assistance on loss and damage is now becoming operational. The Network is intended to help countries identify technical assistance needs and get in touch with organisations and experts offering relevant support and expertise.

The BMZ wants to remain involved in giving shape to these global support structures so that they will reach, in particular, those countries and people that are especially affected by climate change.

Still from the video 'Climate Risk Management: How can we respond?'

Climate Risk Management How can we respond?

Climate risk management helps countries and people to cope with the residual climate risks by deploying an array of effective and innovative tools and measures designed to avert, minimise and address losses and damages.

Comprehensive risk management. In order to be able to quickly respond to imminent losses and damages, it is vital to take account of the specific existing risks. Comprehensive risk management combines strategies and measures to reduce disaster and climate risks. Such risk management is the guiding approach for averting, minimising and addressing climate-related loss and damage. Instead of pursuing isolated measures, the BMZ combines tried-and-tested instruments and innovative instruments for climate change mitigation and adaptation, disaster risk management, climate risk finance, and social protection to form a comprehensive approach. The instrument of transitional development assistance provides a stepping stone between development cooperation and humanitarian aid. The purpose of all these efforts, be it in the context of adaptation or in the context of post-disaster recovery, is to launch transformative processes that help to increase resilience to future risks.

The Global Shield is part of comprehensive risk management. It can make a key contribution, in particular, to financial protection against loss and damage and to the BMZ's further bilateral activities.

Climate change-induced migration. In future, more and more people will be displaced by the consequences of climate change. The BMZ is providing assistance to people faced with situations that force them to migrate.

Biodiversity and climate. Healthy ecosystems can reduce people's vulnerability to climate change and enhance their resilience. For example, mangrove forests form a natural barrier against storms and tsunamis.

Cover: A Global Shield against Climate Risks: Germany’s G7 proposal for tackling climate-related losses and damages in developing countries

A Global Shield against Climate Risks

Germany’s G7 proposal for tackling climate-related losses and damages in developing countries (as at July 2022)

File type PDF | Date of status 07/2022 | File size 810 KB, Pages 6 Pages | Accessibility Accessible
Comprehensive Risk Management

Comprehensive Risk Management

The Approach of German Development Cooperation for Dealing with Disaster and Climate Risks

File type PDF | Date of status 05/2019 | File size 4 MB, Pages 28 Pages | Accessibility Accessible
Cover Disaster risk management

Disaster risk management

Understanding risks, preventing disasters, strengthening resilience

File type PDF | Date of status 05/2022 | File size 4 MB, Pages 36 Pages | Accessibility Accessible

Areas of work

As at: 26/02/2024