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UCL Laws PhD student Linda Siegele co-authors blog post on climate talks at COP24

18 January 2019

Linda Siegele has written a blog post for The Climate Analytics Blog about the outcomes of the 2018 United Nations Climate Change Conference, which took place in Poland last month.

Picture of ice to show rising sea levels

Linda Siegele, environmental lawyer and PhD student at UCL Laws, has co-authored a blog post entitled ‘Progress on Loss and Damage in Katowice’ for The Climate Analytics Blog.

Linda has been involved in the United Nations climate change negotiating process since 2005 with a special focus on the issues of adaptation and loss and damage associated with the adverse effects of climate change in developing countries. 

She has written extensively on a wide range of environmental law topics, and is currently working toward a PhD in the area of green building regulation.

The notion of "loss and damage" associated with climate change impacts, while not new to vulnerable developing countries, was formally recognised in international law in 2013 with the establishment of a mechanism for addressing loss and damage under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). Two years later, Parties to the UNFCCC reaffirmed their understanding of the need to address situations where adapting to changes in the climate system is not enough, agreeing to a separate article on loss and damage in the 2015 Paris Agreement.

Examples of the loss and damage to be addressed include: permanent loss of territory due to sea level rise; the desertification of once fertile farm land; and the irreversible effects of ocean acidification on marine life.  Each of these examples will have a direct impact on human populations, particularly those in developing countries that are highly vulnerable to climate change - either due to poverty, geographic location or both - and these populations are the least equipped to deal with the life-changing effects.

The Paris Agreement came into force in 2016, and the world's governments spent the following two years working on rules for its implementation, finalising agreement to them at the most recent climate change conference held in Katowice, Poland in December 2018.  This blog explains how loss and damage, an integral piece of the Paris Agreement, is included in these rules.

Read the blog post in full