Let’s Talk About Adaptation Communication

Last week, Parties spent a lot of time and energy discussing adaptation communication under Article 7.10 of the Paris Agreement, as well as Article 13, related to transparency of actions. ECO is pleased with this and sees it as a step towards an effort to allocate adaptation an equal status with mitigation in the Paris Agreement.

 

The adaptation communications also provide a welcome opportunity for countries to share their adaptation efforts, achievements, and good practices, as well as challenges and gaps in a coherent and coordinated way. A new adaptation registry could serve as an entry point for the learning and sharing of best practices and results to help improve the impact of adaptation efforts.

 

After this week’s negotiations, a consensus is emerging on the purposes and elements of the adaptation communications and we are indeed pleased to see many delegations recognizing its usefulness. The talks seemed to be stuck, for some time, on the issue of flexibility: some countries seem to suggest that flexibility means no guidance on the elements and information that should be part of the adaptation communication. ECO believes there should be agreement on common elements to be addressed, leaving enough flexibility for Parties to provide the information that is available and useful to communicate.

 

This will also make the task easier for governments when they consult with civil society and institutions on what to present in a communication. Without any guidance — so-called “maximum flexibility” — there is the risk of losing the opportunity to effectively synthesize and aggregate information, which could inform the Global Stocktake on progress towards the Global Goal on Adaptation and the decisions that Parties will take upon these.

 

A structure for what elements and information should be part of the adaptation communications will be useful. Most of the information will already be available in other documents: NDCs, National Adaptation Plans, the sustainable development indicators, and national communications. Agreeing on purpose and elements for the communications will make the data more easily accessible. Countries with lower capacity should be supported with capacity-building and finance.

 

Adaptation principles from Article 7.5 have not been mentioned much in this forum. We hope that silence means consent in a good way:  adaptation actions must be country-driven, gender responsive, participatory, and fully transparent….and based on available science and… knowledge of indigenous peoples … (we will not repeat it all). Almost 150 countries have already ratified these principles, and providing information in the communications on how these are addressed will be to the benefit of all.

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