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National adaptation is also a global concern

Working Papers N°04/2015. Iddri, 2015. 16 p.

L'adaptation au changement climatique, généralement pensée comme relevant quasi exclusivement des échelons nationaux et infra-nationaux, doit également être considérée au niveau global : certains des risques liés aux impacts du changement climatique sont en effet trans-nationaux, et la non-adaptation de pays pourrait avoir des répercussions sur d'autres pays, trans-frontaliers ou pas. L'établissement d'un cadre structuré autour d'un Objectif global d'adaptation (Global Adaptation Goal) s'avère donc nécessaire, tant pour la mesure et le suivi des efforts d'adaptation à l'échelle mondiale que pour lever d'éventuels obstacles politiques relatifs à la prise en compte des effets trans-nationauxs de la non-adaptation. La Convention-cadre des Nations unies sur les changements climatiques apparaît comme l'institution la plus à-même de légitimer et opérationnaliser ce cadre global.

Points clés [en anglais] :

  • TRANSBOUNDARY IMPACTS AND THE NEED FOR A GLOBAL ADAPTATION GOAL FRAMEWORK

Although national to subnational levels have a key role to play in adaptation, the international community dealing with climate has also a role to play, beyond raising awareness and providing funds. A central argument is that there is risk that countries will not be able to adapt to the current climate change trajectory, and so that non-adaptation will have impacts beyond national boundaries. This paper thus claims that national adaptation is also a global concern. It then argues for the development of a post-2015 Global Adaptation Goal framework allowing monitoring progress and better sharing experiences and, more importantly, building both a collective understanding of what adaptation means and shared tools to capture adaptation efforts and limitations on the field.

  • KEY MESSAGES TO THE POST-2015 CLIMATE NEGOTIATION PROCESS

To design a Global Adaptation Goal framework supposes to address at least four challenges, which in turn highlight key areas of progress for the post-2015 climate negotiation process. (i) The challenge now is more about gathering existing adaptation assessment tools in a coherent framework rather than about inventing new metrics. Henceforth there is a need to develop a refined synthesis of the existing frameworks to assess adaptation efforts qualitatively and quantitatively, at the country level. (ii) Which mechanisms to be used to allow monitoring progress? National Determined Contributions (NDCs) could be useful vehicles, so there is a need to strengthen the NDCs framework on Adaptation (structure, content, multi-year work plan) to ensure the learning process and lay the foundations for the action/goal adequacy assessment at the global scale. (iii) We need a global institution to take the lead. And given its experience in climate change affairs, it is important to reaffirm the key role UNFCCC could play in tracking adaptation and induced transboundary risks at the global scale. (iv) Tracking adaptation and transboundary effects of non-adaptation is an extremely sensitive issue that will raise various political barriers. Accordingly, there is a need to anticipate political barriers by developing a constructive argumentation on the usefulness of a global Adaptation tracking process, and more broadly of a Global Adaptation Goal.