Why the COP28 Loss and Damage Decision Is Historic

Mélody Braun, the Paris Global Center's response lead, writes about the historic loss and damage decision at U.N. climate conference.

December 20, 2023

By Mélody Braun

From an outsider’s perspective, the global climate negotiations known as COP can seem like a circus. Officially the Conference of Parties of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, it can be hard to see progress amid the growing number of fossil fuel representatives in attendance. Yet before passing judgment, it’s important to understand the full extent of the visible and less-visible work that happens at the conference. A tremendous amount of work goes into pushing for more fair, ambitious, equitable, inclusive and science-based outcomes in support of the most vulnerable populations. Credit must go in part to the relentless work of activists, scientists, practitioners, researchers, Indigenous people, youth, etc., who deserve far more attention than do the fossil-fuel representatives.

What better example of this than the historic COP28 loss and damage decision, to illustrate both the importance and the limitations of the annual conference?

Learn more: Watch a video about Loss and Damage financing featuring the late Saleemul Huq at Reid Hall. This event was a chance to gain unique insights into the upcoming global climate discussions at COP 28, alongside Mathilde Bord-Laurans (AFD) and Emmanuel Guerin (ECF), moderated by Mélody Braun.