The climate emergency continues to challenge existing norms and ways of working. The recent IPCC reports and the Global Assessment Report made it clear that climate impacts will further intensify, requiring us to transcend beyond conventional institutional silos and recalibrate governance beyond the current confines of climate change adaptation (CCA) and disaster risk reduction (DRR). To be ahead of growing climate and disaster risks, we need to ensure interoperability of interventions and connect people, initiatives, and approaches at the global, national, and subnational levels.
These challenges are not new. In 2015, Member States (Parties) agreed to:
- Substantially reduce disaster risk and losses in lives, livelihoods and health and in the economic, physical, social, cultural and environmental assets of persons, businesses, communities and countries over the next 15 years (Sendai Framework)
- Establishing a Global Goal on Adaptation which would contribute to sustainable development and ensure an adequate adaptation response in the context of the long-term temperature goal (Paris Agreement, Art 7.1)
- At the same time, Parties also recognized the importance of averting, minimizing and addressing loss and damage associated with the adverse effects of climate change, and the role of sustainable development in reducing the risk of loss and damage (Paris Agreement, Art. 8.1)
The COP 26 established the Glasgow-Sharm el-Sheikh work programme on the Global Goal on Adaptation (GGA) that outlines elements of the GGA - enhanced adaptive capacity, strengthened resilience, and reduced vulnerability to climate change - with a view to contributing towards sustainable development vis-à-vis the agreed temperature goal.
The GGA recognizes the need to scale-up adaptation action in the face of a warming climate. While there is a growing momentum towards adopting and implementing integrated approaches for CCA and DRR, the contribution and role of DRR in defining the GGA and raising the adaptation ambition has not been sufficiently explored. This also stems from limited understanding on how short- to medium-term DRR actions contribute to long-term CCA objectives.
The special session aims to produce a usable and integrated DRR and CCA perspective that will contribute to the GGA Work Programme and scale up joint action to reduce climate-related disasters.
As we proceed towards further scaling up action on disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation, there is a need to understand how best to apply a “layered” approach to design and plan implementation at various stages, before, during and after a disaster.
What should be the basis for setting goals and success criteria, in the context of comprehensive disaster and climate risk management, to develop the most effective pre- and post-disaster actions and build long-term resilience?
Read this section to ensure you come prepared for this special session.
Where do we stand
Up to 3.6 billion people, or around 40% of the world's population, are highly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change… and that multiple climate hazards will occur simultaneously, and multiple climatic and non-climatic risks will interact, resulting in compounding risk and risks cascading across sectors and regions – these were among the headline messages from Working Group II of the 6th Assessment Report of the IPCC. The report further warns that a continued warming planet imposes limits to adaptation, while risk-blind planning is resulting in increased risk and maladaptation.
The Glasgow Climate Pact, agreed at the COP 26, emphasizes the urgency of scaling up action and support to strengthen resilience and reduce vulnerability to climate change, including through enhanced finance, capacity- building and technology transfer. Through outlining the functions of the Santiago Network, it recognizes the importance of demand-driven technical assistance in building capacity to implement approaches to reduce the adverse effects of climate change. The Pact offers glimpses of hope though it is acknowledged that the ambition needs to be much higher.
The COP 26 also laid the foundation for the Global Goal on Adaptation (GGA) through the Glasgow-Sharm el-Sheikh Work Programme on the Global Goal on Adaptation. The Work Programme is expected to follow a bottom-up approach whereby the aspirations of local communities are brought to the fore and aggregated upwards to define what constitutes resilience in the face of different hazards – floods, droughts, storms, extreme temperatures and sea-level rise. The perspective of stakeholder experience at the last mile underscores the importance of including affected populations in the assessment of collective progress towards achieving the GGA. This approach is consistent with the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction which emphasizes a people-centric, multi-stakeholder approach to resilience-building.
Further, the Global Stocktake of the Paris Agreement (GST) will also review the overall progress made in achieving the GGA1. This will happen concurrently with the Mid-Term Review of the Sendai Framework (MTR-SF), allowing for joint reflection on how to take forward collective efforts to build resilience to growing climate and disaster risks.
Thus, the 2022 Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction provides a unique opportunity, in the run up to the COP 27 to convene DRR and CCA representatives to identify ways to scale up joint action to reduce disaster risks and build resilience in the climate emergency. The special event will lead to forward-looking and foresight-driven inputs to into the GGA and the MTR-SF, and also identify high-priority recommendations to drive global efforts to urgently confront the climate emergency.