Time for clear communications on Adaptation communications

9 May 2017

When countries submitted their INDCs, which later became their NDCs, ECO was very pleased to see that nearly all developing countries included adaptation components. This was because it provides a more complete picture on the significant and yet unmet needs that many vulnerable countries face to advance adaptation. ECO encourages Parties to move constructively forward on the adaptation communication discussion here in Bonn. This could finally lift the political attention given to adaptation to the level of attention given to mitigation.


Overall, ECO would like to see the following elements being addressed in adaptation communications:

  • National sustainable development circumstances;
  • Impacts, risks and vulnerabilities, at different temperatures including 1.5 and 2°C;
  • Current trajectories and worst case temperature scenarios;
  • Legal, institutional and policy frameworks;
  • Decision-making processes and application of adaptation principles (based on Art. 7.5);
  • Costs of adaptation and support needs;
  • Monitoring and evaluation of adaptation.


ECO feels that the purposes of different instruments, to be used for adaptation communications, can be clearer: NDCs are key to outlining forward-looking objectives and targets for action that are related to the overall NDC submission and the Global Stocktake; National communications focus on providing information on adaptation actions and policies already undertaken; National Adaptation Plans (NAPs) can, as a primarily national planning tool, provide a roadmap towards achieving the objectives outlined in the NDCs.

For the latter two, clear guidance already exists and Parties should not waste time discussing these.


ECO believes that the Global Goal on Adaptation (GGA) is a centrepiece of the Paris Agreement. The discussion on the adaptation communications is a key place to underpin the GGA. Because, yes, adaptation is complex, location-specific, and unlike mitigation, does not have a simple result metric. However, complexity must not stop Parties from undertaking work on practical approaches, which can help “aggregating” (not in a simple 1+1 approach) the progress on adaptation achieved in various countries.

To identify the gaps we must understand both what adaptation actions are needed to protect societies, and understand what is actually happening. The Global Stocktake must then initiate additional action and support to close the gaps. Countries should explore how indicator frameworks, such as those agreed in the Sustainable Development Goals, can inform their work in this regard. However, it is important to note,  that the SDG indicators need further climate-proofing in areas sensitive to climate impacts when applied nationally.

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