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Unheard, Uncharted

L&D pdf cover image

Year Published 2023

Publisher SCIAF, Caritas Internationalis, Catholic Relief Services and Caritas Australia

Language English

Content type Reports

Topics Advocating for Change

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A holistic vision for addressing 'non-economic' loss and damage.

Together with Caritas Internationalis, Catholic Relief Services (CRS) and Caritas Australia, we have published a new special report on the vital issue of non-economic loss and damage ahead of COP28 in December. The report looks at this concept via the lens of Catholic Social Teaching, making tangible recommendations for policy and practice which will be of interest to all audiences of all faiths and none.

“Non-economic losses and damages get to the heart of our common humanity; to the heart of our reason for being; to the heart of what we are called to do as a human family”

– Cardinal Mafi, Bishop of Tonga

The ‘losses and damages’ of climate change refer to the irreversible impacts of the climate crisis which cannot or have not been avoided by reducing our emissions or adapting to global temperature increases.  

Loss of resources, goods and services can be defined in economic terms – but what about loss of life, health, personal possessions and cultural heritage? This is Non-Economic Loss and Damage: far more difficult to quantify or measure, yet vitally important.

The concept of Non-Economic Loss and Damage helps us reflect on what we value as a human society, and understanding how to respond to it is vital to a comprehensive approach to tackling the impacts of climate change in all its forms.

In a world that sometimes seems to know the price of everything but the value of nothing, this report aims to shine a light on the tragic losses and damages to things that cannot and ought not be calculated in monetary terms – and should be a clear call to action on the climate emergency. 

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