At a three-day workshop organized by the Stockholm Environmental Institute (SEI) and Stockholm University experts and policy actors discussed the challenges and possibilities for governing climate adaptation beyond the national level.
At the latest since the negotiations for the Paris Agreement 2015, it has been clear that international climate policy actors consider adaptation to be an increasingly relevant topic, alongside mitigation. Given that climate change will be irreversible, adapting to it will be a global challenge, potentially requiring arrangements for global governance. A process has therefore been launched under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) to track the adequacy and effectiveness of adaptation planning and implementation. In addition, all parties to the convention have been asked to (voluntarily) submit and update their adaptation communications.
In the context of these global developments, academics and researchers are increasingly discussing whether climate change adaptation can be considered a global public good that requires global collective action, and if so how this could possibly be organized. The two-day workshop organized by SEI and Stockholm University aimed to contribute to these debates by exploring the governance of climate adaptation beyond the national level. During the workshop over 40 participants exchanged opinions and findings about new forms of adaptation governance, its consequences for adaptation action on the ground, and the adequacy of existing institutions.
In the course of the workshops, participants identified a number of key topics and challenges that require particular attention and further research. These included, amongst others, the observation that climate change adaptation is an inherently political topic that should be deliberated and negotiated as such. Furthermore, there is a strong need to clarify terminology and develop typologies, so as to address relevant issues, such as how to define “successful” adaptation and how to differentiate between the various types of adaptation (e.g. between transnational and transboundary adaptation governance). Participants also discussed how adaptation could be viewed as a global public good in cases where, for example, climate-change impacts destabilize peace and security, but that in many others it was more appropriate to see it as a transboundary or local public good.
Keynote speakers included:
Find adelphi's paper "Water and Climate Diplomacy. Integrative Approaches for Adaptive Action in Transboundary River Basins" here.