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  • Road to Dubai: TERI knowledge documents highlight imperatives for the Global South on adaptation and energy transitions ahead of COP28

    Published on November 30, 2023

     New Delhi: Researchers at The Energy and Resources Institute launched two crucial policy briefs ahead of the much anticipated 28th Conference of the Parties  scheduled from November 30 to December 12, 2023 at Dubai, UAE.

    Former climate negotiator, Ambassador Manjeev Singh Puri, a Distinguished Fellow at TERI emphasized, “Adaptation is an imperative and absolute must in present times for the Global South. COP28 needs to make the Global Goal on Adaptation (GGA) integral to climate commitments and action”.

    “Climate change demands that energy use must be sustainable; the development imperative of the Global South demands it to be inclusive, just and fair,” Mr Puri added.

    Outcome on GGA will be a key determinant for the success of COP28

    The policy brief titled ‘Road to Dubai and The Global Goal on Adaption’ reviewed the discussions around the GGA framework to provide perspectives on what could be a robust, equitable, and flexible outcome of the GGA process at COP28. The outcome on GGA will be a key determinant of the success of COP28.

    The policy brief underscored that the definition of adaptation should lay emphasis on human and natural systems and not countries. IPCC definition of adaptation emphasizes human and natural systems and not countries. A paradigm shift in the climate regime is needed regarding adaptation. In other words, there is a need to revisit the problem statement. While the approach in climate change negotiations will be country-driven, the GGA framework implementation needs to factor in nuances and a disaggregate picture of vulnerability within countries. Means of implementation, such as capacity-building on data systems, are crucial not only for Monitoring, Evaluation, and Learning (MEL) purposes but also to avoid maladaptation. All indicators, including input, output, and outcome indicators, are important.

    The New Collective Quantified Goal on Climate Finance (NCQG), starting from 2025, is currently in the process of discussion; therefore, it must be based on the needs and requirements of the developing countries, especially considering the need to balance between adaptation climate finance and mitigation climate finance. Along with the Global Stocktake (GST), NCQG must also be linked to the GGA framework. An important outcome of COP28 could be that the global community commits to securing basic universal enablers of adaptation at all scales, for example, universal access to early warning systems.

    Energy transitions should be inclusive and consider unique circumstances of Global South

    Keeping up with the growing demands for clean energy, TERI researchers also released a policy brief titled “Just Energy Transition Partnerships, Climate Action, and Minilateralism” The policy brief cited the limited success rate of global climate agreements in generating consensus and how developing a more targeted approach to achieving goals, minilateralism has steadily emerged as an alternate approach in climate geopolitics.

    The policy brief critically examined Just Energy Transition Partnerships which gained visibility from G7. The brief underscores that the current public cum private financing model adopted by JETPs is not sustainable in the long run. The primary focus on loans rather than on grants and the lack of concessional loans for developing economies make JETPs a non-starter for most countries in the Global South. It is ironic that Global South must take loans to solve a problem that they did not cause. Moreover, there is a mismatch between the funds that have been committed and the actual financial needs of economies for transitioning towards clean energy. Existing JETPs suffer from a lack of interconnection between the energy demand and the supply side. Further, there is also a need to invest in technologies such as battery storage and grids that support flexibility.

    The launch of two briefs could not have been more timely, ahead of what is widely considered to be the most decisive COP.

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