Legal Responses to Climate Change Induced Loss and Damage

Legal issues are central to ongoing debates on Loss and Damage associated with climate change impacts and risks (L&D). These debates shed light, in particular, on the remedial obligations of actors most responsible for causing climate change towards those most affected by its adverse impacts. The aim of this chapter is to take stock of the legal literature on the topic, to identify potential legal approaches to L&D, identify challenges and to explore possible directions for further research. It looks at the feasibility of private and administrative climate change litigation while providing examples from around the world. Subsequently, we explore how human rights issues have been applied in international law to address L&D. The discussion particularly addresses the question whether the no-harm rule can be applied to climate change and would in fact trigger legal responsibility for greenhouse gas emissions. In addition, we examine relevant legal actions with relevance for L&D taken under the UNFCCC and the Warsaw International Mechanism on Loss and Damage. The chapter concludes with a synopsis of the various legal responses to L&D highlighting their premises, specific challenges and proposed remedies.

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