New text on the Global Goal on Adaptation released with progress and inclusion for subnationals

The newest text of the Glasgow Sharm El Sheikh program – the program established at COP26 to define the Global Goal on Adaptation – was released in the afternoon on Monday 11 Dec. The text has several mentions of importance on subnational and local governments and local adaptation, with relevant references in the preamble, paragraph 9, 12, 13,19 and 33. 

The most visible references are in the preamble text that recognized that “adaptation is a global challenge faced by local and subnational, national and international dimensions”, and in paragraph 33 that “requests developed country Parties to provide developing country Parties, taking into account the needs of those that are particularly vulnerable, with long-term, scaled-up, predictable, new and additional finance, technology and capacity-building, consistent with relevant provisions, to implement urgent, short-, medium- and long-term adaptation actions, plans, programmes and projects at the local, national, subregional and regional level, in and across different economic and social sectors and ecosystems.”

Heloise Chicou, Climate Action and Resilience Program Manager at Regions4 said, “Ninety percent of action on adaptation happen at the local and subnational level and this needs to be reflected in global goal on adaptation to allow for accelerated implementation for people and nature.”

Regions4 and the European Committee of the Regions (CoR) co-lead the working group on adaptation for the LGMA and have worked towards the inclusion of subnationals within the global goal on adaptation throughout the year leading up to COP28, including via submissions to the Global Stocktake Technical Dialogues. The working group also inputted to four Glasgow Sharm El Sheikh workshops. 

Teresa Garcia, Policy Officer at the CoR said, “The GGA text demonstrates that local and regional governments were effectively heard during the different workshops. We welcome the recognition that adaptation efforts should be locally and community-led, as well as the establishment of a framework that prioritizes inclusive governance, participatory and fully transparent approaches”. 

According to Urszula Kasperek from the Under2 Coalition, “Overall, the GGA text does recognize the clear role of subnationals. Adaptation is inherently locally-led and therefore subnational governments need to be given appropriate place in the Framework.”

The LGMA had pushed throughout the year for “direct access to subnational governments” for adaptation financing, but this has not yet been included. 

This text is not final, but is an excellent start for recognizing the role of subnationals in adaptation.