The Adaptation Committee: A Direct Link to the COP is Crucial!

11 June 2011

Good news, everybody! ECO is pleased to see that negotiations on the Adaptation Committee have started and that there are a number of convergences. Important elements for its procedures will be broad expertise, openness to observers, and a clear mandate to strengthen adaptation under the Convention. ECO also suggests that non- governmental stakeholders should be members to the Committee to harness their expertise.

In ECO ́s view, making the Adaptation Committee the driver for more coherence on adaptation under the Convention and for raising the profile of the issue will require direct reporting to the COP (with no detour through the SBs), which some developed countries question. There are good arguments for a direct link. Regarding effectiveness and efficiency, direct reporting of the Committee to the COP is one less loop to go through, than if it reports to SBI/ SBSTA and then subsequently to the COP. But there are also legal arguments. According to article 7.2(i) of the Convention, the COP can establish subsidiary bodies where deemed necessary, in addition to the SBI and SBSTA, which were created by the Convention itself. It has been done so in the past, when inter alia the LEG, the CGE and the EGTT were created, but without automatic hierarchy under SBI/SBSTA. The COP established the Adaptation Committee through the Cancún decision, so it can be regarded as another subsidiary body according to Art. 7.2(i). In terms of the LEG, the founding decision stipulates explicitly that it would report to SBI and SBSTA, but the Cancún decision on the Committee, on contrary, does not even mention the SBI or SBSTA. Since the Committee has been founded by a COP decision, reporting to the COP is the logical step to take. Another argument is that some of its provisions ask it to directly provide information for consideration by the COP. Taking these together, ECO is strongly convinced that the correct decision on this is clear, and will be taken in order to not be an obstacle in operationalising the Adaptation Committee in Durban.

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