Cop: Lack of progress on adaptation slowing talks

  • 12/09/23

Delays in discussions on the topic of adaptation — adjusting to the effects of climate change where possible — are affecting the rest of negotiations at the UN Cop 28 climate summit, observers said today.

Talks on adaptation are affecting the global stocktake in particular, non-governmental organisation CARE International told Argus. There is currently a placeholder for outcomes linked to adaptation in the global stocktake draft text, so further delays would also stall the stocktake, CARE International said. The global stocktake is a five-yearly undertaking to measure global progress against Paris climate agreement goals. The first stocktake is set to conclude this week at Cop 28.

In adaptation talks, there is disagreement on several elements, researcher at think-tank E3G Ana Mulio Alvarez said today. "We don't know exactly the shape the document will have yet", she said.

The Arab Group of countries and the Like-Minded Developing Countries group — UN voting blocs with fossil fuel-producing nations represented in both — were "adamant" that the text should include mentions of equity and common but differentiated responsibility (CBDR), Mulio Alvarez said. CBDR refers to the duty of all countries to take climate action, but acknowledges that the types of action they take will depend on their differing national circumstances. It is a principle of the Paris agreement.

Parties at Cop 28 "must adopt an ambitious framework for the global goal on adaptation… without a proper framework, countries, and particularly developing countries, will not be able to withstand climate disasters", climate policy adviser for CARE Denmark Obed Koringo said.

Developed countries pledged in 2021 to double adaptation funding by 2025, which would take it roughly to $40bn/yr. But there is an adaptation financing "gap" of between $194bn/yr and $366bn/yr, the UN said in November. At Cop 28, "wealthy countries have pledged only $160mn to the [UN] Adaptation Fund, which is just half its goal this year", Koringo said.

The African group of negotiators is seeking "tangible outcomes" on adaptation, its chair, Zambian environment minister Collins Nzovu said today.

Discussions continue on all topics at Cop 28, with some new draft texts likely to be developed overnight, E3G said today.