Last December, I had the privilege of supporting the Indonesia Delegation at the COP 21 UNFCCC in Paris. With my background work with ACCCRN, I was assigned to cover the issues of Adaptation and Loss and Damage. The COP 21 has successfully given rise to the Paris Agreement, which will provide an overarching policy framework for post-2020 global climate change action, and thus will be relevant to our work on climate change resilience building measures.
Bouncing back in the aftermath of the Paris attack, the city has become a symbol of hope and commitment to the future as 195 nations succeeded in reaching a historical agreement which will frame the future of the climate change regime, globally. The adopted Paris Agreement of COP 21 UNFCCC is the foundation of the post-2020 regime with two core principles: (1) its goals apply to all countries and yet it allows them to exercise self-determination in terms of their own ambitions and action plans in contributing to achieving the goal; and (2) it respects Common But Differentiated Responsibilities with Respective Capabilities (CBDRRC). The Paris Agreement also, for the first time, successfully binds all nations together as they act on climate change.
We have agreed that our global goal is to keep the rise in temperature to well below 2°C. The agreed review mechanism under the agreement puts in place a system to ensure that countries reconvene on a regular basis (every five years) to increase their individual and collective ambition to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and increase the ability to adapt to the adverse impacts of climate change and foster climate resilience. Therefore, countries need to start reframing the relationship between adaptation and mitigation ambitions , to review the adequacy of these ambitions nationally, and collectively globally in achieving the aforementioned goal. This relationship should take into account the links between collective mitigation ambitions, associated climate change impacts, and adaptation needs and costs, while recognizing there are limits to adaptation. Furthermore, despite the continuous quarrel between players/practitioners regarding the two components of climate change, the Paris Agreement has successfully established the long-expected equal footing of climate adaptation and mitigation, and while not yet ideal, it is acceptable as an initial basis.
The adopted agreement provides political assurances for mitigation, adaptation, and loss and damage, which means that, once the Paris Agreement comes into a force, those three agendas will have the legal-basis for the provision of the long-term framework to support their implementation. With the ‘balance’ recognition of adaptation, we might expect that the ‘climate adaptation ambition’ framing will not only on the adequacy of financial support provided for the measures needed to implement adaptation, also recognizing the needs of developing countries in terms of the implementation measures they undertake, including application of adaptation efforts and investment.
Moreover, countries that provide financial support have agreed to be reviewed regularly with reference to the global goal although, as a consequence, developing countries should accept that the effectiveness of their adaptation measures will also be reviewed. This can only be implemented with an adequate registry and communication mechanism under the United Nation Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).
Another historical achievement is that, finally, all of the 195 countries formally recognized the critical need to collaborate in addressing the impact of climate change which goes beyond what adaptation measures can address. This is reflected in the inclusion of a loss and damage mechanism as one of the priorities on the agenda and is a stand-alone article according to the agreement. As an immediate impact of this agreement, countries have agreed to extend the mandate of the Warsaw International Mechanism on Loss and Damage (WIM) as a specific workstream to deal with Loss and Damage issues. The immediate mandate for the WIM is to established a clearing house for risk transfers that serves as a repository for information on insurance and risk transfers. Its mandate is also to establish a task force and request that they develop recommendations for integrated approaches to avert, minimize and address displacement related to the adverse impacts of climate change.
Despite the many exciting decisions made under the Paris COP, we are also saddened by having the clause on the exclusion of a liability under the decision part of the agreement. This resulted in countries that are severely affected by the permanent impact of climate change losing their right to receive compensation. This loss is the result of negotiation with the “opponents” of prioritizing loss and damage as a separate stand-alone article under the agreement. However, although there is no liability clause under the agreement part, we maintain that there will be the room to fight for it in the future as the way the decision part was made about it makes it less durable than thepart the agreement.
Denia Aulia Syam
ACCCRN – Indonesia Network Coordinator
 Ambition here means the national goal and/or target and/or action plan submitted and/or communicated to the UNFCCC by each country which will be assessed collectively on a regular basis to ensure that we are taking the adequate climate actions to achieve the agreed global goal. The relationship between adaptation and mitigation in the context of the global goal will reflect how inadequate the mitigation ambition is in terms of reaching the temperature limits, and this will affect the needs of adaptation and its associated support.
 Thos countries who took a contrary position on the specific negotiation agenda