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unhappy African bloc; says that agreement on the framework for the adaptation goal is being delayed

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The parties have decided to start the development of a framework for GGA that will be considered and adopted in 2023.


Ephraim Mwepya Shitima, the chairman of the AGN bloc, had called for a concrete decision on the GGA even before COP27 began. Photo: @AGNChairUNFCCC / Twitter

The African Group of Negotiators (AGN) is not happy with the way negotiations on the Global Adaptation Goal (GGA) are going at the 27th Conference of the Parties (COP27) of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change .

Ephraim Mwepya Shitima, Chairman of the AGN bloc, made a statement at the informal stocktaking plenary on November 18, 2022:

COP27 is known as the Implementation COP, the Adaptation COP; therefore, we must comply with the adaptation. We need to make progress on the substantive elements of the GGA, including agreement on a framework for the target. In addition, we must reach a decision that guides the work on the GGA.

This comes after the COP presidency released a new draft text on GGA late on the night of November 17, which seemed almost final.

In the text, the parties have already decided to start the development of a framework for GGA that would have a structured approach and will be considered and adopted in 2023.

This could be one of the points of contention for AGN, as it wants an agreement on the framework at COP27 instead of stalling it for a year.

“Unfortunately, when the African Group emphasized the urgency of engaging in substance and working on a text proposal and draft decision text that works for all as standard practice, some partners opted to show text only without any concrete input to provide to the co-facilitators,” said Mariam Allam, AGN Presidency Adviser on Adaptation and Loss and Damage.

Shitima had been calling for a concrete decision on the GGA even before the COP. “We will continue to call for the global adaptation goal to be operationalized and guide countries’ adaptation efforts at COP27,” he had said in an article on the United Nations website.

It was also decided as part of the text that the framework will have two functions: enhance action and support to achieve GGA and review progress on GGA as part of the Global Stocktaking (GST) in 2023.

Parties also agreed on four steps of an iterative adaptation cycle under the structured approach: risk and impact assessment; planning; implementation; and monitoring, evaluation and learning.

The Parties further decided on the various elements, approaches and sources of information to be considered under the structured approach. The framework would be reviewed before the GST.

References to an Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) special report on GGA, which had been considered under one of the options in the previous text, have been removed.

AGN had been lobbying for the IPCC special report on GGA to be invited as part of the text that would help update the 1994 impacts and adaptation guidelines.

Sandeep Chamlin Rai, Senior Advisor, Global Climate Adaptation Policy, World Wide Fund for Nature said down to earth that “this could be because the IPCC would take at least five or six years to report”. That would mean a new stalemate in the GGA deal that the countries would not want.

“The IPCC was also asked to refine the methodology and provide the global targets and indicators. But this is now part of one of the workshops for next year under the Glasgow Sharm El-Sheikh Work Program on GGA. Therefore, they may not have wanted to prejudge the outcome of the workshops,” Rai added.

Instead, the outcome of that particular workshop could be to make a recommendation to the IPCC to come up with guidelines for setting global targets and indicators.

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