Monday’s ADP session on adaptation and loss and damage covered a lot of ground. LDCs’ call to base all adaptation actions on certain guiding principles, as agreed upon in the Cancun Adaptation Framework, set off the debate on a positive foot. Promoting a gender-sensitive and participatory approach focused on vulnerable people, communities and ecosystems are principles currently absent from the text. They should be bolstered by Parties to guarantee a people-centred, human rights-based agreement.
Convergence emerged around the need to include a long-lasting vision for adaptation in the Paris agreement. Defining objectives for this goal, related to adaptation finance, institution building and readiness would make it even more concrete.
Parties need to come to grips with the link between mitigation and adaptation. One way to do this would be an assessment of the adequacy of NAPs, once mitigation pledges are on the table, taking into account expected level of warming. Vulnerable countries could then better assess the fundamental threats they face, and Parties might reconsider their mitigation ambition.
ECO further welcomes AILAC‘s proposal to set up an Adaptation Technical and Knowledge Platform, conceived as an enhanced hub to support adaptation design and implementation. Indigenous peoples, acknowledged by Norway as adaptation knowledge holders, could play an important role in this initiative.
Many Parties insisted that loss and damage be part of the agreement. LDCs proposed a mechanism related to climate change displacement which could provide support for emergency relief, assistance in organised migration and planned relocation, and compensation measures. It would fit well with the mandate of the existing loss and damage mechanism, and address an unfortunately increasingly real world problem faced by poor countries and communities.
Parties should take advantage of the cold and rain to huddle together, as advised by the Co-Chairs, and warm up to common ideas for how the 2015 agreement can embrace and nurture adaptation and loss and damage. Storm clouds are forming on the horizon, and there are few safe havens in sight right now.