Loss and damage – recognising the costs of climate change: Make Change Happen podcast episode 10

Climate change has devastating impacts on our planet and people. Some impacts are very noticeable, but many go unmentioned. In this episode of Make Change Happen, we acknowledge the untold loss and damage from climate change having devastating effects on culture and communities.

Article, 02 March 2021

IIED’s ‘Make Change Happen’ podcast provides an opportunity to hear our researchers and guests discuss key global development challenges and explain what we are doing to support positive change.  

In the second episode of this 2021 'super year', we learn what loss and damage means, and look at some of the controversies surrounding this hotly contested term in the climate change community. 

Hosted by Liz Carlile, this edition’s podcast features the director of the International Centre for Climate Change and Development (ICCCAD) in Bangladesh and IIED senior associate, Saleemul Huq; senior researcher in IIED’s Climate Change research groupBrianna Craft; and Gladys Habu, climate activist from the Solomon Islands, a 168th Commonwealth Point of Light awardee, a UNICEF Pacific Supporter and full-time pharmacist at the Solomon Islands Referral Hospital. 

Irreversible harms that go unnoticed  

Climate change affects ecosystems in several ways: sea level rise, droughts, retreating glaciers or deforestation are some recognised examples of climate disaster. Some can be repaired at a cost but, as we learn in this episode of Make Change Happen, loss and damage is concerned with the irreparable harms of climate change.  

Loss and damage is a contested issue because non-economic impacts – the loss of human health, territory, biodiversity or the loss of culture – don’t usually get attention among leaders in high emitting nations, explains senior researcher Brianna Craft. 

These harms are harder to measure, but still have a significant impact on people’s lives and livelihoods. “They’re not just the loss of land or biodiversity, they are loss of our history and our culture,” adds climate activist Gladys Habu.  

We also hear from climate expert Saleemul Huq, who calls for the international community to compensate the devastating losses of least developed countries ahead of the UN climate summit in November (COP26). He shares an example of loss and damage from his home country, Bangladesh.  

Find out more by listening to the episode.

Additional resources:


Head and shoulders photo of Saleemul Huq

Saleemul Huq is the director of the International Centre for Climate Change and Development (ICCCAD) in Bangladesh, and is an expert on the links between climate change and sustainable development, particularly from the perspective of developing countries. He is also an IIED senior associate.

Head and shoulders photo of Brianna Craft

Brianna Craft is a senior researcher in IIED's Climate Change research group. She works to further equity for the world’s poorest countries, which have done the least to cause climate change but are the most vulnerable to its impacts.

Head and shoulders photo of Gladys Habu

Gladys Habu is climate activist from the Solomon Islands, 168th Commonwealth Point of Light awardee, a UNICEF Pacific Supporter and full-time pharmacist at the Solomon Islands Referral Hospital

Head and shoulders photo of Liz Carlile

Liz Carlile (host) is director of the Communications Group at IIED. She is an expert in strategic marketing and communications, with a particular focus on research communications and policy influence, and has published on social learning and climate change communications.

How to listen and subscribe 

The ‘Make Change Happen’ podcast provides informal insights into IIED’s work to create positive change and make the complex issues we face more accessible to wider audiences. The title refers to IIED’s 2019-2024 strategy, which sets out how IIED plans to respond to the critical challenges of our time. 

You can subscribe to the podcast on your favourite podcast app as follows:

The podcast is also available on IIED's YouTube channel

You can follow some of the people you have heard in this episode on Twitter at @lizcarlile@SaleemulHuq@pbnclimate, and @Gladys_H. Follow the podcast on @IIED_Voices for all the latest updates.