Aligned to Paris Agreement Global Goal on Adaptation

About This Route

The increasing severity, frequency, and synchrony of climate impacts around the world highlight the need for ambitious and accelerated adaptation. The 2023 Adaptation Gap Report emphasized the urgent need for rapid acceleration of global adaptation action to address climate impacts and risks, highlighting specific gaps around country-level national adaptation planning instruments and financing domestic adaptation priorities. NDCs can be used as a vehicle for identifying and addressing these gaps and needs.

While there is no specific requirement for Parties to include adaptation in NDCs, a significant number of NDCs submitted by LDCs have included adaptation voluntarily. The advances under the UAE Framework for Global Climate Resilience, which sets out 11 thematic and process-related targets to achieve by 2030, highlight an increasing imperative for Parties to raise ambition and make progress on adaptation to achieve the global goal on adaptation. Although Parties’ adaptation communications can be submitted as a component of, or in conjunction with, a range of other communications or documents, the NDC remains a key opportunity for Parties to synthesize and present their adaptation actions and targets in response to climate change and associated extreme weather events and slow on-set changes, and set out their financial, technical, and capacity-building needs for support from the international community.

Additionally, while specific indicators—for use in measuring progress achieved towards the thematic targets of the UAE Framework for Global Climate Resilience—are currently under development through the UAE-Belém work program on indicators, the thematic targets of the UAE Framework on Global Climate Resilience can still serve to highlight key sectors for priority adaptation action in national planning (For more on thematic targets, see: “Reflecting the Global Stocktake” below).

Paris Agreement and International Context

The Paris Agreement established the global goal of adaptation (GGA), as articulated in Article 7. This requires parties to work towards enhancing adaptive capacity, strengthening resilience, and reducing vulnerability to climate change impacts. However, the Paris Agreement does not establish any obligatory reporting to demonstrate progress. Article 7.11 established the Adaptation Communication; a voluntary reporting mechanism, which can be submitted as a section of a Party’s NDC.

At COP28, Parties adopted the UAE Framework for Global Climate Resilience, as part of the UAE Consensus, which outlined 11 specific targets. These targets aim to bolster global climate resilience by addressing water scarcity, food security, health impacts, ecosystem conservation, infrastructure resilience, poverty eradication and livelihoods, and cultural heritage preservation. The framework emphasizes inclusive planning, implementation, and monitoring processes, along with mobilizing financial resources, fostering international cooperation, and integrating traditional knowledge. These targets are voluntary but are designed to provide countries with a framework for achieving the GGA. CMA 5 invited Parties to voluntarily include the Framework’s quantitative and/or qualitative targets and cross-cutting considerations in their adaptation communications, biennial transparency reports, national adaptation plans, national communications, and Nationally Determined Contributions.

CMA5 also established the two-year UAE-Belém work program to identify and develop adaptation indicators and methodologies to measure progress towards the targets adopted regarding the GGA.  This program will help inform how Parties choose to present their adaptation progress, good practices, experiences, and lessons learned in implementing the UAE Framework, as part of their NDCs and other reports.

Article 7.9 of the Paris Agreement requires that “Each Party shall, as appropriate, engage in adaptation planning processes and the implementation of actions, including the development or enhancement of relevant plans, policies and/or contributions”, although the development and implementation of national adaptation plans (NAPs) are not explicitly required. Article 9.1 of the Paris Agreement states that “Developed country Parties shall provide financial resources to assist developing country Parties with respect to both mitigation and adaptation in continuation of their existing obligations under the Convention.”, as does the enhancement of adaptation efforts in response to the outcomes of the Global Stocktake, as set out in Article 14.

Reflecting the Global Stocktake

Following the first Global Stocktake, countries are required to reflect on its outcomes and recommendations in their NDC 3.0 (as per Article 4.9 of the Paris Agreement). With regard to adaptation, the GST “Recognizes the increasing adaptation planning and implementation efforts being undertaken by Parties towards enhancing adaptive capacity, strengthening resilience and reducing vulnerability, as set out in national adaptation plans, adaptation communications and Nationally Determined Contributions, as appropriate” (Paragraph 44). It also recognizes the significant efforts of developing country Parties in formulating and implementing national adaptation plans, adaptation communications and nationally determined contributions, as appropriate, through their domestic expenditure, as well as their increased efforts to align their national development plans (Paragraph 45). Paragraph 44 “welcomes that 51 Parties have submitted national adaptation plans and 62 Parties have submitted adaptation communications to date”, demonstrating the ambition of country Parties to act on adaptation as these reporting mechanisms are voluntary.

The GST emphasises the need for comprehensive and holistic approaches to address climate impacts and adaptation gaps, highlighting two areas:

  1. Paragraph 55: “Encourages the implementation of integrated, multi-sectoral solutions, such as land-use management, sustainable agriculture, resilient food systems, nature-based solutions and ecosystem-based approaches, and protecting, conserving and restoring nature and ecosystems, including forests, mountains and other terrestrial and marine and coastal ecosystems, which may offer economic, social and environmental benefits such as improved resilience and well-being, and that adaptation can contribute to mitigating impacts and losses, as part of a country-driven gender-responsive and participatory approach, building on the best available science as well as Indigenous Peoples’ knowledge and local knowledge systems
  2. Paragraph 49: “Acknowledges that establishing and improving national inventories of climate impacts over time and building accessible, user-driven climate services systems, including early warning systems, can strengthen the implementation of adaptation actions, and recognizes that one third of the world does not have access to early warning and climate information services, as well as the need to enhance coordination of activities by the systematic observation community”.

The GST stresses “the importance of global solidarity in undertaking adaptation effortsincluding long-term transformational and incremental adaptation, towards reducing vulnerability and enhancing adaptive capacity(Paragraph 61) and “the importance of the iterative adaptation cycle for building adaptive capacity, strengthening resilience, and reducing vulnerability(Paragraph 54). It “calls on Parties that have not yet done so to have in place their national adaptation plans, policies and planning processes by 2025 and to have progressed implementing them by 2030 (Paragraph 59) and stressed that “such efforts should be inclusive…taking into account the best available science and the worldviews and values of Indigenous Peoples to support achievement of the global goal on adaptation” (Paragraph 61).

In summary, the GST reflects the urgency for adaptation, particularly in reference to closing the adaptation gap. This includes adopting the UAE Framework for Global Climate Resilience,which sets out 11 targets to be achieved by 2030, (paragraph 16) “invites parties to voluntarily include…quantitative and/or qualitative information related to the targets…and the cross-cutting considerations in their national reporting. The GST also reflects key elements such asemphasizing inclusive and country-driven approaches and mobilizing adequate means of implementation,including finance, technology transfer, and capacity-building. The importance of international cooperation, stakeholder engagement, and robust review mechanisms to track progress and address challenges is also highlighted by the GST, underscoring the collective responsibility to address climate risks.

Guiding Questions

Use the following guiding questions to reflect and identify nationally appropriate and impactful Opportunities within this Route, to explore more deeply:

Have adaptation actions or measures been identified but not translated into targets? Did the last NDC or NAP communicate adaptation goals or actions? Is there intent to include or enhance adaptation in the next NDC?

Has the NAP process begun? Has a NAP document been drafted or completed? Is guidance required to begin the development of the adaptation chapter within the next NDC? Are there resourcing challenges associated with the development of national planning activities?

Are there data availability challenges concerning adaptation planning? Does the previous NDC state an intent to address data-related challenges? Could existing adaptation goals, actions, and targets be strengthened or improved?

Did the previous NDC or NAP include a reference to Loss and Damage? Are there current or potential Loss and Damage associated with climate change and extreme events? Is there a lack of clarity on how to communicate experiences of or needs to address Loss and Damage?

Did the previous NDC or NAP seek to engage stakeholders from across society? Will the next NDC seek to improve the potential for implementation?

Did the previous NDC or NAP identify co-benefits or maladaptation? Will the next NDC seek to increase the resilience of mitigation efforts?

Did the previous NDC or NAP set a priority related to the natural environment? Will the next NDC seek opportunities to increase alignment between mitigation and adaptation action?

Is there interest in enhancing adaptation in particular sectors? Are there specific development themes or agendas that could be addressed through adaptation?

How This Links to Other Routes

Adaptation aims to enhance adaptive capacity, strengthen resilience and reduce vulnerability to climate change, with a view to contributing to sustainable development. This requires consideration of adaptation across all components of the NDC. Navigate to these to read more:

Route: Aligned to the Paris Agreement Temperature Goal

Parties may consider the resilience of mitigation actions or the effect of mitigation actions on climate vulnerabilities and risks contributes to robust, holistic climate action that builds on opportunities for co-benefits.

Route: Delivers a Just and Equitable Transition

The NDC development process should seek to identify those individuals/groups of society that are most affected by or vulnerable to climate change and those whose existing inequalities could worsen through adaptation measures.

Route: Mobilizes All-Of-Government and All-Of-Society

Mobilizing and engaging stakeholders and citizens in adaptation planning, on which the NDC can be based, can contribute to ensuring the NDC is relevant and leads to common understanding, ownership, commitment, and a desire to implement.

Route: Aligned to Paris Agreement Global Goal on Adaptation

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Route: Technology and Capacity-Building as Needs and Enablers

Identifying technological and capacity-building needs, and the associated financial needs, with adaptation actions included in the NDC can help unlock international support and help focus national priorities.

Route: Technically Sound and Transparent Documents

Basing the adaptation components of the NDC on existing adaptation planning completed under the NAP process or national/sectoral/local climate Action Plans, can ensure robustness and also foster efficiencies between national planning teams.

Route: Unlocks Finance

Communicating needs in terms of investment requirements and enabling environments can help unlock international support, including accessing or establishing funding mechanisms for Loss and Damage.

Support Opportunities

Support is available to countries to apply the learning from the navigator and develop ambitious NDCs 3.0.

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