What next for the Global Goal on Adaptation?

Date Published 2021, December 08

Authors Patrick Pringle, Ella Strachan, Dr Adelle Thomas

The COP26 climate summit in Glasgow saw important progress made on the Global Goal on Adaptation (GGA). However, there is much work still to be done to bring the GGA concept to life. Striking a balance between the GGA serving its ‘global’ purpose, whilst providing countries flexibility to describe their own adaptation objectives will ultimately determine the effectiveness of the GGA.

Key messages

- The launch of the two-year Glasgow–Sharm el-Sheikh work programme at COP26 represents a significant step forward in establishing the Global Goal on Adaptation (GGA) outlined in the Paris Agreement.

- Discussions in Glasgow, and the subsequent decision, reinforced that adaptation action is inherently national and local. For developing countries, it is crucial that the GGA reflects the realities on the ground and will be nationally determined and locally appropriate.

- The GGA should not become a top-down reporting exercise that further burdens countries with limited public resources. Instead, it should become a tool that helps countries identify their strengths and weaknesses so they can better respond to the impacts of climate change.

- There is much work still to be done to bring the GGA concept to life. Striking a balance between the GGA serving its ‘global’ purpose, whilst providing sufficient flexibility for countries to describe their own adaptation objectives and progress will ultimately determine the effectiveness of the GGA.