Adaptation is a cross-cutting and integrated issue. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) definition of adaptation states: “The process of adjustment to actual or expected climate and its effects. In human systems, adaptation seeks to moderate or avoid harm or exploit beneficial opportunities. In some natural systems, human intervention may facilitate adjustment to expected climate and its effects.” This requires an integrated approach as regards both built and natural systems – including networked infrastructure (piped water, drains, roads, electricity), services (including public transport, health care, emergency services) and through ecosystem- based adaptation to safeguard water supplies and to buffer expected enhanced erosion and coastal flooding risks caused by rising sea levels and increased storm surges.
Loss and damage is about dealing with the financial impacts of extreme weather events as well as slow-onset events for which adaptation measures are not feasible. However it is not a new issue, it has been on the UNFCCC table since 1991. It was originally proposed by the small island state of Vanuatu as an insurance process to compensate against sea level rise. The Paris Agreement gave breakthrough legal recognition to the concept of loss and damage (there had already been a COP decision about it in 2013), but did not incorporate any mention of liability or compensation, which developing countries advocated but developed nations opposed (as being the countries responsible for climate change).