Whats New in Adaptation?

Last night Parties finished a first reading of the adaptation text, meaning a new text was available this morning for the beginning of a second reading. There are still a lot of brackets and points where countries seriously differ, so below are a couple of issues to watch for in the coming week:

- para 5.a (option 1) – this includes a proposal to earmark 70% of funding for SIDS and LDCs, as opposed to other options which specify only “all developing countries, particularly those that are vulnerable.” This question is particularly contentious between developing countries because it is about which of them will be eligible for adaptation funding – it is causing tensions in the G77 negotiating bloc.

– para 5.a – also to watch for in the paragraph is to see what happens to “separate from and additional to official development assistance.” For developing countries, it is critical that adaptation funding represents an increase in funds, not just re-labelled development assistance. But it is something that developed countries are resisting and is still bracketed.

– para 9 – this para discusses who should be prioritized in adaptation funding. 9.a includes “particularly vulnerable developing country Parties, especially LDCs and SIDs…” while 9.b includes “particularly vulnerable sectors, livelihoods, groups, including indigenous peoples, communities and ecosystesm.” AOSIS would like to see any mention of sub-national vulnerability removed from the text, or at the least moved to a different section (para 3 on principles for adaptation) so as not to impact funding priorities. They worry that all developing countries will be able to claim they have vulnerable populations and so could compete with them for adaptation funding.

– paras 10-15 – an international mechanism to address loss and damage from climate change. AOSIS is pushing hard to keep this in the text, but it is very controversial and developed countries are not really engaging on the issue.

– para 20.a (option 1) – monitoring and review of support provided from developed country Parties. Developing countries want a way of holding developed countries accountable for providing adaptation funds, which they have already committed to under Article 4.4 of the Convention. The US however proposed changing this to monitoring and reporting of the “costs and benefits of actions”, which is clearly not the same.

– para 23 – Adaptation institutional arrangements should be under the authority and guidance of the COP and have majority non-Annex 1 representation. This is a critical issue about the governance of adaptation institutions. Developed countries are pushing for using “existing institutions” such as the World Bank, which developing countries believe are not representative and have slow and bureaucratic procedures to disburse funds. Developing countries would like new funding arrangements that follow the model of the Adaptation Fund under the Kyoto Protocol, which has majority developing country representation and will give national governments direct access to funding.

– para 24 (option 2) – establishment of an adaptation committee or subsidiary body for adaptation. Developing countries would like to see a new subsidiary body or committee on adaptation to raise the profile of adaptation within the UNFCCC process and to guide future work. The US proposed last night to instead have a joint work programme on adaptation between the two existing subsidiary bodies (option 3), which would not be as effective, given experience of the already existing Nairobi Work Programme on impacts, vulnerability and adaptation.