Scientific article

Clouded skies: How digital technologies could reshape “Loss and Damage” from climate change

Publication date2020

As dangerous climate change becomes more and more likely, a consensus has been reached on the importance of addressing Loss and Damage (L&D) residual to mitigation (i.e., preventing climate change) and adaptation (i.e., adjusting in order to avert adverse impacts). In spite of sharp divisions in terms of how to understand and operationalize L&D, most approaches draw on classic environmental governance, with discrete analogic interventions implemented by States and international actors. L&D is mainly envisioned as an “international court of climate justice” that identifies the culprits (emitters), quantifies harm, and compensates victims. While digital technologies and algorithmic governance have colonized many germane policy fields and virtually all economic sectors, in the L&D field a substantive discussion on the use of information and communication technologies, algorithms, and user‐generated data has been conspicuously absent. By taking the prospect of a “digitalization” of L&D seriously, this advanced review identifies the seeds of emerging digitalized approaches to L&D through an overview of literature. We focus on examples in three key domains associated with L&D—insurance, disaster responses and risk management, and human displacement. These empirical cases are used to investigate the modes of governance that accompany the digital tools through which L&D could be implemented, and the profound changes in climate politics and justice that would accompany a digitalization/algorithmization of L&D.

  • Social Status of Climate Change Knowledge
  • Climate Science and Decision Making
Citation (ISO format)
BETTINI, Giovanni, GIOLI, Giovanna, FELLI, Romain. Clouded skies: How digital technologies could reshape “Loss and Damage” from climate change. In: WIREs Climate Change, 2020. doi: 10.1002/wcc.650
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Article (Submitted version)
ISSN of the journal1757-7799

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