4. There is an Increased Focus on Adaptation & Capacity Building
While mitigation of GHG emissions remains essential, there has been a growing recognition of the critical need to adapt to and build resilience to a changing climate on a global scale. This will be a major focus of COP27, with calls to increase funding and build capacity, especially among the most vulnerable, to adapt to the changing climate. USAID has committed to improving the ability of 500 million people to adapt to climate change in its climate change strategy.
Scaling climate adaptation initiatives that are evidence-based and proven to be effective is a critical step. It is also important that these solutions are based on science and research. RTI helped NASA assess the impact of flood early warning systems to mitigate damages for vulnerable populations that experience river flooding in Bangladesh. Assessments like this ensure that vulnerable populations are not displaced by floods and help them prepare for changing weather patterns that may impact their livelihoods.
We also need to invest in scalable solutions that increase resilience to climate change for the most vulnerable. For example, RTI partnered with USAID on an innovative camel leasing program that helped build the resilience of farmers and local dairies in Somalia, a country often plagued by severe droughts resulting in livestock loss. This program created a mutually beneficial model that gave the pastoralist short-term income to temporarily lease their camels to local dairies and helped dairies increase their camel milk production. The model supported the pastoralist's livelihoods, local businesses, and kept the camels well fed. As changing weather patterns continue to cause severe droughts in many parts of the world, we need more innovative and scalable solutions like this one that create opportunities to increase resilience in local communities.
5. COP27's Work Plan is Focused on Implementation
This year’s COP agenda will focus on the tangible work needed to achieve the commitments made to date and to further increase ambition to achieve progress by 2030 that will put us on a 1.5°C pathway. Since attending my first COP in 2003, I’ve seen increased engagement from countries and various stakeholders in taking climate action. In 2003, I was one of 5,000 observers, in stark contrast to the 40,000 people who attended COP26 last year.
As both a global research institute and a leading international development organization active in over 84 countries, RTI has data, analytical capabilities, and global insights to help our partners plan for various scenarios. I’m excited to be part of RTI’s delegation this year and will attend with my own personal mission to help deliver the core goals of the UNFCCC by sharing my experience and being open to new collaborations. I challenge other attendees to do the same.
Are you bringing money, knowledge, capacity, or data to the table? Which of those do you need to help push forward your countries’, companies’, and personal goals? How will you make progress getting them? How can those of us who are implementers design projects that can support the international community’s larger climate goals? How can you be part of the global solution? In fact, write down three things you will “do.”
This is an implementation COP, after all.
Learn more about RTI’s efforts to combat climate change at our RTI Center for Climate Solutions.