How To Do Adaptation and Resilience: Takeaways from Technical Dialogues Synthesis Report

21 September, 2023

The UNFCCC have released the synthesis report of the meetings [‘Technical Dialogues’] that have been taking place with climate action stakeholders as part of the first Global Stocktake process. 

It provides an assessment of the collective progress towards achieving the purpose and long-term goals of the Paris Agreement.

The Resilience Hub has taken a dive into the Synthesis Report and pulled out key takeaways on adaptation and resilience.

 [All text is from Synthesis Report]: UNFCCC, Synthesis report by the co-facilitators on the technical dialogue, 2023. 

What has happened since the Paris Agreement? 

Impacts of climate change are increasing and threaten all countries, yet adaptation efforts to

date have focused on planning and have not yet driven the broad changes necessary to enhance adaptive capacity, strengthen resilience and reduce vulnerability. 

Losses and damages are already being experienced. Finance – international and domestic, public and private – needs to be urgently scaled up and made more effective, and much finance still flows to activities that increase greenhouse gas emissions and vulnerabilities to climate change.

What is happening on adaptation and resilience? 

The ability to adapt to adverse impacts [of climate change] has grown, but it is not yet sufficient to protect communities and ecosystems from increasingly frequent and intense impacts.

Durable and transformational adaptation is facilitated by governments at all levels working with communities, civil society, educational bodies, scientific and other institutions, media, investors and businesses. It is also important to develop partnerships with traditionally marginalized groups, including women, youth, Indigenous Peoples and local communities as well as ethnic and other minority groups.

Collectively, there is increasing ambition in plans and commitments for adaptation action and support, but most observed adaptation efforts are fragmented, incremental, sector-specific and unequally distributed across regions.

A fundamental starting point for enhanced adaptation action is the dissemination of climate information through climate services to meet local needs and priorities. 

There are opportunities for adaptation across systems and sectors, many of which have been mainstreamed into existing development priorities and processes.

Systems transformations generate many opportunities, but rapid change can be disruptive. A focus on inclusion and equity can increase ambition in climate action. Inclusivity matters and those most affected by climate impacts should be involved in crafting solutions. 

Long-term strategies for climate-resilient and low-emission development can be made mutually supportive through whole-of-society approaches and integrated, inclusive policymaking.

When adaptation is informed and driven by local contexts, populations and priorities, both the adequacy and the effectiveness of adaptation action and support are enhanced, and this can also promote transformational adaptation

There is no single endpoint where a community can be declared fully resilient, because the contexts and risks for a community change over time.

As climate change threatens all countries, communities and people around the world, increased adaptation action as well as enhanced efforts to avert, minimize and address loss and damage are urgently needed to reduce and respond to increasing impacts, particularly for those who are least prepared for change and least able to recover from disasters.

Financial support for adaptation continues to fall far behind mitigation investments

and remains disproportional to the increasing need to enhance climate resilience globally, particularly in developing countries that are particularly vulnerable to the adverse effects of climate change.

Support for adaptation and funding arrangements for averting, minimizing and addressing loss and damage need to be rapidly scaled up from expanded and innovative sources, and financial flows need to be made consistent with climate-resilient development to meet urgent and increasing needs.

Shifting financial flows – domestic and international, public and private – away from maladaptation towards mainstreaming adaptation in decision-making is a critical component in scaling up finance for adaptation to effectively support iterative and sustained adaptation actions.

Across the adaptation cycle, progress is being made in mainstreaming climate-related risks in decision-making, but sustained and enhanced action is needed to fully implement National Adaptation Plans to integrate long-term changes that reduce risks equitably.

Transformational approaches to adaptation generate new options for adapting to the impacts and risks of climate change by changing the fundamental attributes of a system, including altered goals or values and addressing root causes of vulnerability.

International cooperation can help share experience in realizing opportunities and overcoming barriers and challenges to implementation of adaptation plans and promote learning from good practices across various contexts. 

Mainstreaming climate-resilient development in national and subnational governance and policymaking is necessary for the effective use of limited public finance for adaptation.

Private sector engagement in adaptation could entail providing products and services to build climate resilience and investment to enhance the resilience of their operations and supply chains, investing in businesses that build climate resilience; and providing direct financing to private or public sector actors for implementing adaptation actions.

Want to learn more about the state of climate adaptation and resilience action? Check out the Resilience Hub’s COP27 Synthesis Report.

Image CC BY-NC-ND 4.0 by Abir Abdullah / Climate Visuals

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