Writing Prompt: Adaptation in Long-term Strategies

In the lead-up to Paris, it became clear that climate change adaptation issues would garner greater attention in the negotiations than they ever had before. Many of the Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs) included not only countries’ plans to reduce emissions, but also descriptions of their adaptation goals, priorities, actions and needs. Countries pointed toward their current activities and plans to build resilience in agriculture, health and water sectors, and many outlined their needs for support in assessing and reducing their vulnerability to climate change.

The negotiations and the resulting Agreement highlighted the relevance of adaptation. The long-term planning objectives of the Paris Agreement appeared in the mitigation-focused sections, but with explicit links to adaptation. The connection then recognizes that if mitigation activities succeed in limiting the rise in global temperature, less adaptation will be needed.

Under this Agreement, countries are invited to communicate “long-term low greenhouse gas emission development strategies” (referred to here as “long-term strategies”). In this expert perspective, we ask authors:

Is there scope for explicitly integrating adaptation in long-term strategies (LTS) or should resources be utilized for strengthening/enhancing the long-term angle of the current National Adaptation Plans (NAP) processes?

In your answer, please also address the following sub-questions:

  • What are the pros/cons of each approach (Adaptation in LTS or continue under NAP processes)?

  • What is the appropriate scope of adaptation under LTS?

  • What are the lessons from implementing related long-term actions such as those under the National Adaptation Plans (NAP) process? How can these lessons be applied to the development and implementation of LTS?