COP22 - Focus on National Adaptation Plans (NAPs)

18 November 2016, Marrakesh, MoroccoThe main focus of the Climate Change Conference (COP22) in Morocco was to prepare for the implementation of the historic Paris Climate Change Agreement. Delegates gathered from 7-18 November 2016 to move forward on their commitments to reduce greenhouse gases emissions and adapt to climate change. National Adaptation Plans featured strongly at COP22, and decisions were taken regarding the process to formulate and implement NAPs. In addition, the COP22 President held a high-level event focused on NAPs and adaptation actions. NAPs also featured in many well-attended and dynamic side events.

Decisions related to NAPs at COP22

The vital significance of NAPs for Least Developed Countries (LDCs) is highlighted in 'Matters relating to the least developed countries' of the Subsidiary Body on Implementation (SBI). NAPs are comprehensively addressed in this conclusion, adopted on Monday 14 November 2016.
The joint UNDP/UNEP  National Adaptation Plan Global Support Programme’s (NAP-GSP) role in supporting LDCs to advance the formulation and implementation of NAPs - was recognised. Parties also urged additional contributions to the Global Environment Facility Least Developed Countries Fund and other funds, thus recognizing the importance of successfully undertaking the process to formulate and implement NAPs. The progress in the provision of financial support for the formulation of NAPs through the Green Climate Fund (GCF) was also welcomed.
Moreover, the GCF decision to approve up to 3 million USD per country for NAP advancement is commended, while Parties note the challenges faced by countries in accessing these funds in SBI conclusions related to the National Adaptation Plans'.
The Ad-hoc working group on the Paris Agreement (APA) also discussed matters of relevance to the NAP, especially within the consultations on adaptation communications. NAPs are listed as a way to report adaptation communications towards the global stocktake.

Moroccan presidency holds a high-level event on NAPs

A high-level event on 'Progress in advancing National Adaptation Plans' was held by the COP22 President, Mr.Salaheddine Mezouar, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Morocco, to highlight the central role of the Green Climate Fund (GCF) and other entities in advancing adaptation through the NAPs. The event on 14 November 2016 was an opportunity to celebrate positive achievements and to share new initiatives. At the high-level event, GCF announced the approval of its first grants in support of NAPs under a new and expedited procedure. Ms. Adriana Dinu, Executive Coordinator of Global Environmental Finance Unit of UNDP, highlighted the important contributions that the Global Environment Facility’s Least Developed Country Fund and Special Climate Change Fund and the GCF have made in countries through UNDP, describing these funds as 'critical enablers of urgently needed adaptation action'.

NAP-focused side events:

The Least Developed Countries Expert Group (LEG) organised a side event 'Work of the LEG in supporting the LDCs on adaptation' which discussed the experiences and progress made by LDCs in formulating and implementing NAPs. At this event, Rohini Kohli, UNDP Lead Technical Specialist on NAP and Programme Manager of the NAP-GSP presented the Expanded support to LDCs on NAPs, the new phase of the NAP-GSP. In collaboration with FAO and UN Environment, UNDP organised other side events targeting different aspects of NAPs: 'Scaling up climate finance for formulation and implementation of NAPs''From plans to actions: Fostering climate action in the agricultural sectors through NAPs', and 'Operationalization of country projects financed by the GCF and the way forward'
COP22 saw a reaffirmation of the importance of NAPs, and adaptation planning, in supporting the Paris Agreement, particularly for developing countries. The linkages with Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs), adaptation communications, the global stocktake and the transparency framework will continue to be discussed under the UNFCCC and are yet to be fully determined. Decisions taken at COP22 provide further impetus for increased financial support and targeted technical assistance to enhance national adaptation planning and action in developing countries.