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COP23: What The Least Developed Countries Expect from This Year’s UN Climate Change Negotiations

Climate change is posing serious challenges to water supplies in many countries. Photo by Emmy Muchunguzi

Tuesday October 10th, 2017

Fredrick Mugira
October 10, 2017

Ministers from Least Developed Countries have committed to ambitious climate action further urging global community to step up support at UN climate change negotiations in Germany next month.

Ministers and Heads of Delegation from the Least Developed Countries (LDC) group met in Addis Ababa to discuss the priorities of the LDC group in preparation for the international climate negotiations in Bonn, Germany in November 2017.

Gebru Jember Endalew, Chair of the LDC Group, said it had been a very successful meeting, with Ministers discussing all of the key issues of the negotiations and expressing their countries’ dedication to ambitious climate action. “Today Ministers from across the world’s 47 poorest countries have demonstrated how LDCs are continuing to take the lead on ambitious climate action, pursuing sustainable, low carbon and climate resilient pathways to protect our people and our planet.”

“It is clear that LDCs face unique and unprecedented challenges in working to lift our people out of poverty while achieving sustainable development. Ministers here in Addis Ababa have identified the need for global solidarity and the support of the international community to help LDCs achieve our ambitious climate plans. Ministers have also highlighted that the global response to climate change must be fair and equitable, with countries acting in a manner that is consistent with their responsibility for climate change and capacity to respond.”

“Under the Paris Agreement the world has laid out a vision for achieving a greener, healthier and brighter future for all – the LDCs hope that the upcoming negotiations will generate finance and other support to ensure all countries of the world can make this vision a reality.”

The LDC group are fully committed to supporting Fiji, the first island nation to hold the presidency of the Conference of the Parties, to reach successful outcomes this November.

Key messages of the LDC Group for COP 23

General
• The urgency of action on climate change has never been clearer. The world has experienced devastating events exacerbated by climate change over the past year, creating irreversible loss and damage.
• The 47 Least Developed Countries (LDCs) have contributed negligible emissions but feel the impacts of climate change acutely due to their low social and economic development and severe capacity constraints.
• The full implementation of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, the Kyoto Protocol and the Paris Agreement by all Parties is vital to protect present and future generations in LDCs and across the world. This demands fair, equitable and ambitious action by all Parties that is proportionate to the scale of the challenge before us, including in the pre-2020 period.
• The Paris Agreement was the culmination of a global effort and groundswell of momentum to effectively address climate change. Eighty-five percent of all countries have ratified the Paris Agreement and some LDCs have communicated ambitious climate plans beyond their fair share.
• Any decision to withdraw from the Paris Agreement or decrease ambition in communicated climate action plans will severely damage the global solidarity achieved.
• An effective global response to climate change is inextricably linked to achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as climate change creates new and additional costs that exacerbate existing development challenges. Achieving a low-emissions and resilient future can simultaneously lift vulnerable communities in LDCs and across the world out of poverty.
Mitigation
• The current level of global ambition does not put us on a track to limit average global temperature rise to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels. Parties must commit to more ambitious emission reduction targets and urgently peak global emissions to close the mitigation gap and secure emission pathways consistent with limiting global temperature rise to below 1.5°C.
• Parties should raise their ambition on action and support through revision of their Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) before 2020 in a manner that is consistent with their responsibility and capacity to respond.
• Urgent emission reductions are vital to minimise adverse impacts on LDCs and vulnerable populations by reducing the future cost of for adaptation and minimising unavoidable loss and damage.
• Accelerated financial, capacity building and technological support is urgently needed for developing countries, in particular for LDCs, to enhance mitigation action.
• By the end of 23rd Session of Conference of the Parties, the process for the 2018 Facilitative Dialogue must be clearly laid out. The Facilitative Dialogue must provide collective guidance on the global effort needed to put the world on a pathway to below 1.5°C of temperature increase by informing the ambition of the Parties’ NDCs.
• The use of internationally transferred mitigation outcomes must ensure environmental integrity, must relate to emissions reductions included in NDCs that are quantified and measured against an absolute baseline or baseline scenario and must be in line with accounting guidance developed under Article 4 of the Paris Agreement.
Adaptation
• Adaptation must be addressed in a balanced manner with mitigation, with respect to both action and support and with a view to achieving the global goal on adaptation.
• LDCs need further financial, technological and capacity building support in planning, developing and implementing their national adaptation plans and other adaptation actions.
• The Adaptation Fund has been a strong pillar in promoting and generating experience towards concrete adaptation actions in developing countries and needs to be fully integrated into the Paris Agreement architecture.
Loss and damage
• Loss and damage is a crucial component of the global response to climate change and an important part of the Paris Agreement.
• The LDCs have limited financial, technological, human and institutional capacities to deal with loss and damage arising from the impacts of climate change.
• Scaled up financial support for loss and damage is urgently required, including a permanent source of finance and delivery mechanism.
• Loss and damage needs to be incorporated into all relevant processes under the Paris Agreement, including the enhanced transparency framework and the global stocktake.
• The Warsaw International Mechanism on Loss and Damage must be enabled to address broader loss and damage issues.
Climate finance
• Climate finance is key to the implementation of the Convention, Kyoto Protocol and the Paris Agreement. The Convention and the Paris Agreement clearly recognise the special circumstances and needs of the LDCs and this recognition must be adhered to in every delivery mechanism of the climate finance.
• Developed countries must fully implement their commitment to mobilise USD 100 billion per year by 2020. Clear pathways to meeting the targets are missing and urgent scaling up of the funding is needed.
• Accessible, adequate, predictable and sustainable climate finance for developing countries is essential and should be allocated between adaptation and mitigation in a balanced manner. This finance must also be new and additional to existing to Official Development Assistance, and should be filled primarily from public sources and be grant-based.
• Funds such as the Green Climate Fund and the Global Environment Facility must simplify the application, approval and disbursement processes, particularly for LDCs.
• The Least Developed Countries Fund is a dedicated source of funding for LDCs and needs to be adequately resourced. This fund remains severely under resourced.
Technology
• Access to environmentally sound technology is indispensable to LDCs and other developing countries to enable emission reductions and adaptation to the impacts of climate change.
• All LDCs must be supported to develop and implement technology related plans and strategies.
• Increased funding that is earmarked for technology development and transfer is needed to access mitigation and adaptation technologies, and support innovation, the enhancement of endogenous technologies and collaborative approaches to research and development.
• The Green Climate Fund and the Global Environment Facility need to elaborate simplified procedures to enable LDCs to access financial support for technology development and transfer and build the capacity of LDCs to access these funds.
• The bureaucratic procedure of the Climate Technology Centre and Network in handling requests from Parties should be reviewed and simplified to enable quick responses.
Capacity building
• It is important to address the significant capacity gaps in LDCs for the effective implementation of climate actions, including for the elaboration, update and implementation of NDCs, formulation and implementation of National Adaptation Plans, mobilisation of climate finance and means of implementation.
• The establishment of the Paris Committee on Capacity Building was a milestone in addressing gaps and needs in implementing capacity-building and further enhancing capacity-building efforts in a holistic and coherent manner.
Gender
• Gender is a cross-cutting issue that needs to be mainstreamed across all areas of climate change responses and actions.
• The empowerment of women will significantly enhance the effectiveness of adaptation and mitigation efforts at all levels and advance the SDGs and broader development objectives.
Transparency of action and support
• The enhanced transparency framework is the backbone of the Paris Agreement’s architecture for raising ambition over time.
• The framework must build trust and confidence among Parties, promote effective implementation and provide reliable information to take stock of the implementation of the Paris Agreement.
• The framework must provide an accurate and reliable picture of what each Party is doing to
address climate change and its impacts through action and support.
• Support is essential for enabling developing countries to meet their reporting obligations.
• The framework should avoid placing undue reporting burdens on developing countries without compromising the reliability of the information or the integrity of the transparency system.
Global stocktake
• The global stocktake is an important component of the Paris Agreement’s mechanism to scale up fair and ambitious actionthat is consistent with equity and the best available science.
• The outcome of the global stocktake must lead to Parties taking the necessary actions to put the world on track to limit the increases in global average temperature to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels and address the adverse impacts of climate change.
• To effectively take stock of implementation of the Paris Agreement, the global stocktake must be holistic – reviewing all elements of the Agreement, including loss and damage.
Facilitating implementation and promoting compliance
• The mechanism for facilitating implementation and promoting compliance have a vital role to play in ensuring the effectiveness of the Agreement and the implementation of efforts to address climate change under the Agreement.
• The mechanism should ensure the integrity of the Paris Agreement by helping Parties to implement the Agreement while encouraging compliance with their obligations.

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