Global Goal On Adaptation Paris Agreement

Unlike previous international climate agreements, the articles of the Paris Agreement on adaptation and loss and damage are used to guide policy planning and implementation. Countries have different vulnerabilities and capacities to respond to climate change. It would be impractical to set an overall, quantitative target of adaptation or loss and damage, in the event of differences in climate change arrangements. It would be equally impractical to establish a uniform set of adjustment or loss and damage obligations. It is best to use a bottom-up approach to tackle the specific areas of adaptation, loss and damage. However, this approach is based on a collective objective of supporting these different measures, which includes the top-down aspect of the combined approach. For the first time in the history of international climate negotiations, adaptation has its own article in a piece of legislation. What is even more striking is that loss and damage, which has historically been treated as part of adaptation, do so too. For many years, negotiations on adaptation, loss and damage have been controversial between industrialized countries, which prioritize reducing adaptation and loss and damage, and developing countries that are particularly vulnerable to the effects of climate change. The chronicle of the controversial discussions and negotiations that led to these monumental articles of the Paris Agreement shows the tensions still present between the parties to the agreement. It also highlights negotiable points for future Conferences of the Parties (“COPs”). The principle of common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities, although not explicitly mentioned, is relevant to this provision.

Common but differentiated responsibilities and equivalent capabilities are an important international principle of environmental law, dating back to the 1992 Earth Summit, which “reflects the need to assess responsibility for remediation or reduction of environmental degradation on the basis of both historical contribution to a particular environmental problem and current capacities”. [24] This was a fundamental element of the UNFCCC and the Kyoto Protocol. [25] Developing countries have come out in favour of maintaining this historic approach in the Paris Agreement, but have been rejected by industrialised countries (historically the largest emitters of greenhouse gases) . . . .

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