On June 15th, during the intermediate negotiations in Bonn, the discussions relating to the Glasgow-Sharm el-Sheikh work programme, established during the COP26 to study a Global Goal on Adaptation (GGA), came to an end.

In 2021, at the COP26 in Glasgow, a two-year work program (called precisely Glasgow-Sharm el-Sheikh) was launched, created to establish methodologies, indicators, metrics and data sources to evaluate adaptation progress at a global level. Not an ordinary job, considering the purely local nature of the adaptation activities. During the COP27 in Sharm el-Sheikh in 2022 it was then agreed to make the GGA – the Global Goal on Adaptation – operational for the next COP28 in Dubai (for more details on the technical works, refer to this article).

On Thursday, in Bonn, an agreement on this topic was reached out of the intermediate negotiations, which in turn contains a draft framework for the final decision on the COP28 GGA.

This structure looks like this:

“A. Preamble

B. Acknowledgement of progress and conclusions under the Glasgow–Sharm elSheikh work programme on the GGA

C. Establishment of the framework for the GGA

D. Elements of the framework for the GGA

D1: Purpose

D2: Dimensions

D3: Themes

D4: General and cross-cutting considerations

D5: Option 1: Enabling conditions

        Option 2: Means of implementation

D6: Reporting

E. Option 1: Overarching targets and specific targets, indicators and metrics

Option 2: Shared adaptation priorities under the framework for the global goal on adaptation

F. Link to the global stocktake

G. International cooperation and the role of stakeholders

H. Option 1: Follow-up work

      Option 2: No section on follow-up work

I. Option 1: Finance and budgetary provisions

    Option 2: No section on finances and budgetary provisions”

Together with the final decision on the topic, a set of indications was published in Bonn to be considered for the development of the GGA framework, also during the next workshops dedicated to the matter that will precede the COP28. This second text includes content options for the sections indicated above, specifically relating to adaptation goals, the importance of which was claimed by the Global South during the negotiations. For example, within Section E: “Option 1: One high-level political target for each dimension of the adaptation policy cycle. […] Option 4: A shortlist of targets based on the dimensions including action and finance targets and indicators for each dimension. […] Option 11: No list of targets and indicators.

It is an “informal note” “prepared by the co-facilitators of the negotiations on this agenda item to informally capture the views expressed by Parties” [the Countries] on the issue to date, which does not “in any way prevent the Parties from expressing other views they may have in future”.

The discussions of this negotiating session focused precisely on this last text that the Global South, unlike the United States and other countries such as Australia and Norway, wanted to remain within the decision-making document in the form of an annex. In the context of the tensions that dominated this year’s intermediate negotiations, in fact, the reference to indications of specific targets relating to climate finance within the decision-making text could only be disliked by the Countries (except for some of the wealthy ones).

The final compromise was reached with struggle, on the last day available, following appeals that even involved the president of the SBI: “A procedural decision [without structure or content, as desired for example by Australia and the United States, ed] is not enough: we have to get something substantial, not send the signal that we have worked for two weeks without producing anything”. The structure indicated above was therefore maintained in the document, relegating instead to the “informal note” the specifics regarding the issues contained therein: a partial victory for the Global North, which instead came out defeated on the issues included in the agenda and on the Global Stocktake.

Article by Elisa Terenghi, volunteer of the Italian Climate Network

Images: photos by Elisa Terenghi

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