This paper looks at the background and introduction to adaptation in the context of climate change negotiations, major developments since Paris Agreement in 2015 to the 24th Conference of the Parties (COP24), as well as interests of Developing Countries (DCs) and the Least Developed Countries (LDCs) in the adaptation negotiations. Conclusions and recommendations are proposed in order to support stakeholders, including policy makers and negotiators, to take more informed and coherent actions and positions.
According to the UNFCCC Secretariat, adaptation refers to adjustments in ecological, social, or economic systems in response to actual or expected climatic stimuli and their effects or impacts.1 In his reflections note for the 50th session of the Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice (SBSTA)2, the Chair Mr. Paul Watkinson noted that, in 1995 when the first SBSTA session was opened in Geneva on 28th August, weekly Carbon dioxide (CO2) concentrations in the atmosphere were 359.29ppm.
It has been reported in the few past few days that the average daily CO2 concentration on 11 May 2019 was above 415ppm for the first time in human history.4 If this is true, then countries efforts in line with Article 4 paragraph 1(b) of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), which states that all Parties shall ‘formulate, implement, publish and regularly update national and, where appropriate, regional programmes containing measures to mitigate climate change by addressing anthropogenic emissions by sources and removals by sinks of all greenhouse gases not controlled by the Montreal Protocol, and measures to facilitate adequate adaptation to climate change’5 have not yielded much. In Article 4 paragraph 1(e) of the UNFCCC, all Parties, taking into account the convention principles, shall
‘cooperate in preparing for adaptation to the impacts of climate change; develop and elaborate appropriate and integrated plans for coastal zone management, water resources and agriculture, and for the protection and rehabilitation of areas, particularly in Africa, affected by drought and desertification, as well as floods. It is on the basis of these provisions together with the requirement for the developed Country Parties to assist the developing country Parties that are particularly vulnerable to the adverse impacts of climate change in meeting costs of adaptation to those adverse effects, that Parties have been negotiating adaptation elements under the convention, and later under the Paris Agreement.
This paper looks at the background and introduction to adaptation in the context of climate change negotiations; major developments since Paris Agreement in 2015 to the 24th Conference of the Parties (COP24); interests of Developing Countries (DCs) and the Least Developed Countries (LDCs) in the adaptation negotiations; conclusions; and recommendations in order to support stakeholders, including policy makers and negotiators, to take more informed and coherent actions and positions.