Adaptation Committee Considers Methods to Review Global Goal on Adaptation

The Adaptation Committee’s webinar on May 11, 2021 presented findings from their technical paper focused on approaches to reviewing overall progress made in achieving the global goal on adaptation and sought feedback from Parties and observers.

The Global Goal on Adaptation: A Guiding Star

UN Climate Change News, 3 May 2021 – The Global Goal on Adaptation (GGA), a pivotal component of the Paris Agreement, points the world toward the global state of enhancing adaptive capacity, strengthening resilience and reducing vulnerability to climate change – all within the context of the temperature goal of holding the increase in global average temperature to well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels, and pursuing a limit of 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels.

The review on the overall progress made in achieving the GGA will provide a big picture on the current state of adaptation. The purpose of the review is to capture a snapshot of collective on-the-ground adaptation efforts to pinpoint the status of localized and universal progress made in achieving the GGA.

The review of the GGA will help break new ground during the first Global Stocktake (GST) 2022-2023, as it aims to generate an understanding of how many steps the world has taken on its journey to adapt to the adverse impacts of climate change.

The Adaptation Committee’s Guidance

The Adaptation Committee (AC), the world’s leading voice on adaptation, is tasked with understanding how the review of the GGA can take place. In 2019, countries requested the AC to study various approaches to review the overall progress made in achieving the GGA, and to reflect the outcome of this task in the AC’s 2021 report.

Establishing a sound, feasible and inclusive methodological backbone for understanding adaptation progress at the global level is necessary to ensure that the GGA is adequately reviewed as part of the first GST. The AC has been working towards this request since early 2020.

One of their outputs is an in-depth technical paper to support its discussions and consideration of the topic. The report reviews the relevant scientific literature; outlines some of the critical challenges and trade-offs; examines existing systems at different levels for reviewing adaptation progress; and reflects on the range of potential approaches for reviewing progress towards the global goal.

On May 11, 2021, the AC held a webinar to share findings from the paper and to hear feedback, related views, and insights of Parties, observers, researchers, academics, adaptation practitioners, and other stakeholders in the adaptation community. The webinar offered a valuable space to discuss questions related to conducting a meaningful review of the overall progress made in achieving the GGA.

With over 100 participants from around the world, the webinar was a significant opportunity to: Discuss fundamental principles and criteria that should guide the consideration of approaches to reviewing overall progress towards the GGA; which approaches are most feasible to follow in the short and long terms; the challenges and needs that should be accounted for; and how these might be overcome.

How the Adaptation Committee Is Moving Forward

Leading up to the 20th meeting of the AC in September 2021, the AC will continue to work on its consideration of approaches with a view to reflecting the outcome of this consideration in its 2021 annual report. In achieving this task, the AC will ensure that input from the recent webinar is considered, as the AC places great importance on transparency, the needs and views of Parties, and the expertise offered by observers and other members of the adaptation community.

Complementing the AC work, the COP 25 and incoming COP 26 Presidencies will host a series of workshops this year on the GGA as part of each of the Regional Climate Weeks. These workshops will aim to further the Parties’ and observers’ understanding of each other’s views on how progress can be made on the Global Goal on Adaptation and how assessment of progress can contribute to the Global Stocktake. Stay tuned for more updates throughout the year, starting with the upcoming Informal Presidency workshop on the Global Goal on Adaptation [LatAM RCW Session] to be held on May 19, 2021.

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