World Resource Institute

Paris Rulebook: Adaptation Communications

Navigating the Paris Agreement Rulebook:

Adaptation Communications

To enhance information on climate adaptation, the Paris Agreement asks countries to submit adaptation communications. These may discuss adaptation priorities, support and implementation needs, and plans and actions. The Paris Agreement also notes that countries may submit adaptation communications as part of other documents, such as NDCs, transparency reports or national adaptation plans. Countries did not want to take on additional burdens and wanted to retain flexibility, so the Agreement allows them to choose through which vehicle(s) they submit their communications. In Katowice, countries sought to address two questions: what information should be included in adaptation communications, and how adaptation communications should be presented.

Key Rulebook Decisions from COP24

At COP24, countries adopted the necessary guidelines for developing their adaptation communications. Countries decided on the specific purposes of these communications, including to serve as an input to the global stocktake, and noted that the communications are to remain country-driven and flexible so as not to pose additional burdens.

Countries decided that adaptation communications should focus on forward-looking information, including each country’s:

  1. National circumstances, institutional arrangements and legal frameworks
  2. Climate impacts, risks and vulnerabilities
  3. National adaptation priorities, strategies, policies, plans, goals and actions
  4. Support and implementation needs (in the case of developing countries)

Countries can also share additional information as they feel appropriate.

Countries restated the flexibility provided to submit adaptation communications as a part of other documents. For example, countries can submit their adaptation communication as part of an NDC, a national communication, a national adaptation plan or another document. The only requirement is that countries must clearly indicate that their submission includes the adaptation communication under the Paris Agreement. Countries also have an opportunity to provide information on adaptation under the enhanced transparency framework. The figure below highlights the similarities and differences between the Rulebook decisions.

Remaining Negotiating Mandates

Countries have concluded their work on adaptation communications but decided to take stock of the guidance in 2025. Countries are also seeking additional advice on how to communicate adaptation information and have asked the Adaptation Committee and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change to provide additional guidance in 2022.

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