Adapting the INDCs

11 June 2015

When delegates return to their countries, some trade in their negotiator hat for that of a practitioner. Back home, they’ll have to advance domestic debates on mitigation and adaptation. For many, one of the most urgent objectives will be to submit their INDC in a few months. While the focus clearly and rightly lies with mitigation action, the INDC process also offers a chance to highlight relevant aspects for adaptation. This is a key moment for Parties to communicate key climate change vulnerabilities (hint – they are already in your National Communications), flagship national policies and goals, potential adaptation investment pipelines, and other adaptation policies relevant to share with the international community.

The first set of INDCs already show different ways to include a meaningful adaptation component. Mexico communicated its overarching adaptation policy priority and a goal to halve the number of vulnerable municipalities. Morocco gave concrete goals on adaptation-related policy outcomes, and Ethiopia communicated its mainstreaming approach. Gabon highlighted coastal adaptation priorities.

National Adaptation Plans (NAPs) which are underway in many LDCs and other countries should have a link to the INDCs. Synergies should be maximised and duplication of efforts minimised. Both INDCs and NAPs are likely to be most effective if they are based on a long-term vision for development as well as dealing with climate change impacts. If a country is already progressing in the elaboration of a NAP, it should be able to derive much of the concise information for an INDC from that process. Other Parties may use the INDC process to attract attention to adaptation needs and potentially kick-off a national adaptation planning process.

Adaptation must be a policy priority, especially for vulnerable countries. The INDCs can be a facilitative approach to share the top-line state of adaptation action and plans. In line with the Cancun Adaptation Framework these should be designed in a participatory and gender-sensitive manner taking into account exposed communities.

Adapting the INDCs

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