Sharm-El-Sheikh Adaptation Agenda launched to protect billions of climate-vulnerable citizens

The world’s first comprehensive global plan to unite governments and non-state actors behind a set of goals to improve the resiliency of four billion people living in the most climate-vulnerable communities has been launched today (8 November) at COP27.

Sharm-El-Sheikh Adaptation Agenda launched to protect billions of climate-vulnerable citizens

Almost half of the world’s population will be at severe risk from climate impacts by 2030, even in a 1.5C world

The Egypt COP27 Presidency has launched the Sharm-El-Sheikh Adaptation Agenda in partnership with the UN Climate Change High-Level Champions, and the Marrakech Partnership.

The Agenda, launched during the World Leaders Summit at COP27, is a comprehensive global to-do list to help improve the resiliency of more than four billion people against climate-related risks. It outlines 30 “Adaptation Outcomes” to help protect those living in the most climate-vulnerable communities by 2030.

Actions are divided across five “impact systems” that include food and agriculture, water and nature, coastal and oceans, human settlements, and infrastructure, and including enabling solutions for planning and finance.

COP27 President and Egypt’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Sameh Shoukry: “The Sharm-El-Sheikh Adaptation Agenda is a critical step at COP27, The Implementation COP. The COP27 Presidency has long articulated our commitment to bringing together State and non-State actors to progress on adaptation and resilience for the four billion people that live in the most climate vulnerable regions by 2030.

“We are determined to develop a governance arrangement that secures continuity in scope, priorities, and reporting, while increasing action on the ground that accelerates system interventions, and the adaptation and resilience outcome targets identified by the High-Level Champions. During our Presidency, we look forward to The Marrakech Partnership, the High-Level Champions and specialized UN agencies working together to ramp up an agenda of global adaptation action by following up on the implementation of the Sharm El-Sheikh Adaptation Agenda.”

To-do list

With research from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) AR6 WG II Report warning that almost half of the world’s population will be at severe risk from climate impacts by 2030, even in a 1.5C world, the new Agenda aims to transform systems to help with adaptation, mitigation and resiliency initiatives.

It calls for the transition to sustainable agriculture practices that could boost yields by around 17% while reducing emissions from farming by more than 20%. This, the report claims, can be done without expanding land use for agriculture but while also improving the livelihoods of smallholder farmers in developing nations.

Other suggestions call for restoration of around 400 million hectares of land located in and around freshwater ecosystems. This would support indigenous and local communities with use of nature-based solutions to improve water security and livelihoods and to transform two billion hectares of land into sustainable management. Installing early warning systems – of which a new action plan was unveiled at COP27 – would also protect three billion people from climate-related risks.

The Agenda also calls for $4bn to be invested into restoring 15 million hectares of mangroves, and to expand access to clean cooking for 2.4 billion people through a new $10bn annual financing mechanism.

The Agenda also calls for $140-300bn to be invested from public and private finance blends to spur adaptation and resiliency globally. This can be assists by getting 2,000 of the world’s largest corporates to integrate climate risk modelling and actionable adaptation plans into their business strategies.

The Adaptation Agenda is being driven by the COP27 Presidency , the High-Level Champions and Marrakech Partnership, with the support to the UN Climate Change secretariat, and underpinned by the more than 2,000 organisations who are part of the Race to Resilience campaign.

Dr. Mahmoud Mohieldin UN Climate Change High-Level Champion for COP27: “The Outcomes were identified jointly with a broad range of active stakeholders, reflecting existing and new global targets based on science along with local knowledge and initiatives. The Outcome targets will continue to be refined and expanded by the High-Level Champions with inputs from State and non-State actors to support their operationalization. At the core of the Outcomes is the recognition that adaptation is often locally-driven and globally relevant, while simultaneously needing to address equity, diversity and justice.”

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