Warsaw International Mechanism for Loss and Damage (WIM)

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For years, small island states in the Pacific and other nations particularly affected by climate change had demanded support for addressing climate-related damages and losses. As a result, the “Warsaw International Mechanism for Loss and Damage associated with the impacts of climate change” (WIM) was established as an institution under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in November 2013 at COP19 in Warsaw. In the interest of climate justice, the WIM recognizes the need to support developing countries cope with climate-related damages and losses – particularly those that result from the impacts of climate change for which there are no options for adaptation or complete mitigation. 

The WIM has three main functions (see the UNFCCC website for further details): 

  1. “Enhancing knowledge and understanding of comprehensive risk management approaches to address loss and damage associated with the adverse effects of climate change, including slow onset impacts.” 
  2. “Strengthening dialogue, coordination, coherence and synergies among relevant stakeholders.”  
  3. “Enhancing action and support, including financing, technology and capacity-building, to address loss and damage associated with the adverse effects of climate change, so as to enable countries to undertake actions pursuant to decision 3/CP.18, paragraph 6.”  

The WIM is led by an executive committee, of which Germany is a member. Subcommittees deal with topics such as (1) slow-onset events, (2) non-economic losses, (3) comprehensive risk management, (4) climate-induced displacement, and (5) action and support. The WIM has organized a series of dialogues and workshops between countries and interest groups to generate knowledge and exchange experiences in dealing with losses and damages.