Archive for Press releases

Press Release: The LDCs call for the inaugural meeting of the Year of ambition to be placed on a very high stand

10 March 2014
For immediate release

While the future of the planet and of its people is at stake, politicians, government officials and diplomats involved in the climate negotiations have been busy arguing over words, speeches and processes.

While the world continues to warm and heat waves and droughts intensify, Parties to the UNFCCC seem to have regressed in their ambition to adopt strong, but beneficial measures.

While the science tells us we can still avoid the most dangerous changes through real ambitious actions it also tells us that the time is running out. Instead of facing this challenge, the international negotiations seem to be relegated to fighting over fragmented and ineffective solutions through isolated, independent and disconnected actions.

Mr. Prakash Mathema, the Chair of the group says- “We all have invested a lot of time and resources in this process and the efforts that we have put together for many years rightly deserve to achieve concrete outcomes that can effectively address this urgent issue of global warming. Any delay in global climate action will lead to greater adverse effects, increased needs for adaptation as well as more serious residual and permanent loss and damage in the least developed countries – and other vulnerable countries. The most rational way to move ahead is to acknowledge the scientific evidence and act accordingly. That evidence tells us we must act fast.” Read the rest of this entry »

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Media statement by Least Developed Countries Group at UN climate change talks

For immediate release

Contact: Munjurul Hannan Khan, spokesperson, LDCs: munjurulKhan@gmail.comor +12042943425

What follows is a media statement from the Least Developed Countries Group at UN climate change talks.

While expressing frustration at the overall progress in the international negotiations under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, the LDC Group welcomes the establishment of the Warsaw International Mechanism for Loss and Damage by COP 19.

The Group believes that the mechanism will fill a major gap in addressing climate change as it will deal with losses and damages after the limits of adaptation are crossed. The Warsaw International Mechanism for Loss and Damage is intended to meet the growing needs in developing countries, in the long term, to cover the economic and non-economic losses from climate change. The LDCs are fully dedicated to continuing to play their role in making the mechanism fully functional in the coming years.

The Group also welcomes the move forward towards the 2015 agreement, but remains worried and concerned at the lack of ambition. The agreement reached in Warsaw far from satisfies the needs of the Least Developed Countries and even creates concerns regarding the negotiating process leading up to the COP21 in 2015.

It is important to make sure that the replacement of the expression “commitments” by “contributions” in the ADP decision will not lead to misinterpretation, and will not undermine the capacity – and the stringency – of the 2015 agreement to prevent dangerous levels of global warming.

Parties need to accelerate their work for a legally binding agreement in Paris and the LDC Group will continue to engage in the negotiating process at the UNFCCC in order to keep the global mean temperature increase below 1.5 degrees by the end of the century.

The LDC lead coordinator for ADP, Pa Ousman Jarju says: “If we are to meet the 2015 deadline, we should advance quickly on many fronts, including a decision to set up a clear process to clarify everybody’s emissions reduction target – and financial contributions – under the new agreement. With the survival of nations at stake, only the highest level of commitment from all is acceptable, guaranteeing global climate action is taken at a level that stabilizes the average global temperature to prevent dangerous climate change.”

Prakash Mathema, the Chair of the LDC Group, says: “Developed countries should contribute effectively in the global process of climate change negotiations by providing support to climate vulnerable least developed countries and other developing countries to address adverse impacts of climate change while paving the way for enhanced action for all to reduce their emissions of greenhouse gases.”

Although the LDC Group appreciates the contributions of some developed country Parties to the Least Developed Countries Fund and the Adaptation Fund, commitments from developed country Parties have fallen short regarding the real needs. The Group has also called for immediate capitalization and full operationalization of the Green Climate Fund.

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Developing countries unanimously call for loss and damage mechanism at Warsaw Climate Conference as tragedy of super Typhoon Haiyan unfolds

The following is a joint press release from the Least Developed Countries, the Alliance of Small Island States, the Africa Group and the G77/China negotiating blocs at the UN climate change conference in Warsaw. For interviews, contact the LDCs spokesperson: Munjurul Hannan Khan: munjurulKhan@gmail.com or +48 690 507 519

11 November 2013:

Loss and damage occurs when climate change related harm affects vulnerable people and countries. The issue is expected to feature prominently in negotiations at the UN Climate Conference, which takes place from the 11-22 November in Warsaw, Poland. “Loss and damage from climate change is a reality today across the world,” says Naderev “Yeb” Sano, Climate Change Commissioner of the Philippines, “My family ground, my home country just suffered a Typhoon, for which the scale has yet to be created”.

He adds: “Developed country emissions cut targets are dangerously low and must be raised immediately, but even if they were in line with developing country demands of reducing 40—50% on 1990 levels, we would still have locked–‐in climate change and would still need to address the issue of loss and damage.”

The Group of G77 and China calls for an international coordinated response from the UNFCCC that will help tackle the challenge of long-term changes brought by global warming.

Juan Hoffmaister, lead negotiator on loss and damage for the group of G77, says, “We are trying to negotiate a mechanism that will address what happens if food production is no longer feasible, or that people have to leave their homelands because of climate change.”

Malia Talakai, the AOSIS spokesperson for loss and damage, adds, “SIDS are also put in a position of having to deal with loss and damage from climate change impacts that cannot be adapted to. The survival of our member nations is in all our hands. This is a grave responsibility and we must act with the urgency it demands and establish an international mechanism to address loss and damage in Warsaw. The international mechanism must address the needs of SIDS and other particularly vulnerable countries.”

“Loss and damage is complex because it is about the human face of climate change impacts. We are not merely discussing economic costs, we are not discussing only weather events, but also slowly creeping changes from climate change,” argues Elia del Carmen Guerra of Panama.

Patience Damptey, negotiator for the African Group, adds, “Communities in developing countries who have done the least to cause climate change are now suffering these irreversible impacts. That is why we have a united position among developing countries to create an UNFCCC loss and damage mechanism.”

Adao Barbosa, outlining the position of the LDC group, said, “If we leave Warsaw without a loss and damage mechanism we will have failed in building a comprehensive response to climate change that truly considers the needs of the poor.”

Juan Hoffmaister concludes for G77, “It’s unacceptable that some continue to sideline this issue, or fob it off as a ‘research agenda’ item. We do need more knowledge, but above all we need more action and political commitment to deal with the concerns of the world’s most vulnerable people.”

Contact: Munjurul Hannan Khan, spokesperson, LDCs: munjurulKhan@gmail.com or +48 690 507 519

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Press Release: A Roadmap for 2015 Agreement is Critical to Successful Outcome in Warsaw

For immediate release: 11 November 2013: Warsaw, Poland

Contact: Munjurul Hannan Khan, spokesperson, LDCs: munjurulKhan@gmail.com or +48 690 507 519

 “The Least Developed Countries are the poorest and most vulnerable group of countries in the world, who contribute the least to the problems of climate change. We are likely to suffer some of the worst loss and damages, and are least able to cope with them – without substantial financial and technical support. Our very future therefore not only depends on the world keeping global warming temperature to below 1.5°C, but also on how much financial and technical support is made available for adaptation and sustainable development. We therefore need to see concrete outcomes of the talks here in Warsaw and progress towards a strong 2015 agreement.” says the Chair of the group Mr. Prakash Mathema.

As delegates of the world gather in the Polish capital for the annual climate conference, the 49 most vulnerable countries stress that Warsaw should draw the roadmap for an effective international agreement on climate change in 2015. The LDCs urge all developed country parties to fulfill their responsibility to take the lead in addressing the crisis of climate change through ambitious mitigation targets.

Gaps in Climate Finance:

Finance is a key issue for the LDCs for realizing urgent, immediate and long-term adaptation plans as well as achieving sustainable development. Effective progress in climate finance negotiation – as a part of developed countries commitment to act – is crucial for developing countries to take action on the ground and to tackle the adverse impacts, it remains unclear as to how developed countries will fulfill their pledge of mobilizing US$ 100 billion a year by 2020 to address the needs of highly vulnerable developing countries. The availability of climate finance – both in the pre-2020 period, and scaling up beyond 2020, are crucial for the LDCs to be able to adapt and address impacts of climate change. Closing the gap for climate finance through identified sources and ensuring certainty for availability of the funds are the key asks of the LDC group.

Closing the Mitigation Ambition Gap:

Even to achieve the globally agreed 2°C goal requires nations to keep global C02 emissions to no more than 44 gigatonnes by 2020. There is a ‘mitigation gap’ of 8 -13 gigatonnes of CO2: the combined current emissions reduction targets submitted by parties show that emissions will be 52-57 gigatonnes of CO2 by 2020. This mitigation ambition gap is of serious concern for the LDCs. The LDC group would like to see real progress in this issue and will continue to draw attention to the mitigation gap in Warsaw and will urge the developed countries to agree a work plan by which they can deliver robust and enhanced mitigation ambition in 2014 and beyond, to achieve the 2°C goal reaching 1.5 degree target soon.

Adopting a Roadmap for the 2015 Agreement:

In 2011, governments agreed to finalize a new agreement applicable to all by 2015, which will come into force in 2020. The LDC group has already made it clear that the new agreement must be a legally binding protocol, the draft of which must be ready by the end of 2014. This will allow time for domestic stakeholder consultations and to adopt the final Protocol in 2015. The LDC group would like to highlight the importance of having a clear roadmap for negotiating the planning, scope, structure and design of the new 2015 agreement.

Institutional Mechanism for Addressing Loss and Damage:

Addressing loss and damage from the impacts of climate change is crucial for the survival of the LDCs. There will be inevitable losses and damages due to climate change that are beyond the capacities of LDCs to respond and adapt. Last year in Doha, importance of this issue was realized and considered by the parties as one of the major agenda for Warsaw meeting to set up an institutional mechanism under the UNFCCC to address this issue. The LDC group has taken this issue very seriously and would like to urge parties to act here in Warsaw as per the agreement in Doha.

Contact: Munjurul Hannan Khan, spokesperson, LDCs: munjurulKhan@gmail.com or +48 690 507 519

 

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Least Developed Countries demand climate finance figures from rich nations by end of year

Least Developed Countries Group press release

For immediate release.

Bonn, Germany, 14 June, 2013 The world’s least developed countries have today called upon the industrialised nations to provide detailed information about the finance they are willing to provide to help the vulnerable adapt to climate change.

Speaking at the end of international negotiations under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), the chair of the Least Developed Countries (LDCs) Group, Prakash Mathema, said greater financial transparency was needed to implement action to tackle climate change.

The LDC Group requests each industrialised country to provide information on the levels of finance they have provided in 2013 and how much they will provide in future years. The group requests this information to include precise allocations for adaptation specifically, along with a breakdown of how much finance is for the LDCs. The LDCs request that the richer nations provide this information at COP19, the 19th Conference of Parties to the UNFCCC, which takes place in Warsaw at the end of the year.

What follows is a statement from the LDC Chair Prakash Mathema of Nepal.

“The LDC Group expresses its deepest appreciation to the Annex 1 Parties who have made substantial contributions towards supporting adaptation in the LDCs. But there is too much uncertainty about where the future funds will come from. Delayed climate action and lack of ambition to close the mitigation gap will cost more tomorrow than today. We need to move to a sustainable climate smart pathway where life is possible for all and for generations to come. The LDCs, with their weak adaptive capacity and their extreme vulnerability to the adverse impacts of climate change, have already witnessed many catastrophic climate disasters and these events are going to be more frequent, intense and unpredictable. We are all aware of the fact that the level of concentrations of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere has reached 400 parts per million, the highest level for some three million years. This is alarming. We lament the failure of parties to launch the negotiations under the UNFCCC’s Subsidiary Body for Implementation at the UN negotiations which ended today in Bonn. This is of grave concern to us as issues of implementation are key for the LDCs. We expect this not to happen again at COP19 in Warsaw later this year. Communities around the world have high expectations regarding this process and hope that we, as climate ambassadors, will take some bold decisions very soon to protect humanity from the adverse impacts of climate change. To implement such decisions, financial support is key. We need to act now and we need to act together.”

LDC group spokesperson in Bonn: ldc.unfccc.communication@gmail.com

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Least Developed Countries and Alliance of Small Island States issue joint call for greater ambition to tackle climate change.

3 May 2013: Bonn, Germany— The Alliance of Small Island States and the Least Developed Countries groups  represent 83 countries and over 920 million people that are highly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change. As the latest session of UN climate change negotiations ends today, the two groups together call on negotiators to come back in June ready to move expeditiously from talking about solutions to implementing them.

The groups jointly released the following statement:

“The conversations over the past few days have underscored important facts we have known for many years now: low-carbon energy options are not only widely available and affordable, they are essential to our survival.

“Science has confirmed that unless we act immediately, the opportunity to keep global warming below the 1.5 degree threshold could be irrevocably lost.

“If we fail to act now, a vastly more expensive response will be required later, which will have profound implications for the scale and nature of obligations under the 2015 agreement. The costs of adapting to the impacts of climate change are already spiraling out of control, and thus need to be a bigger part of the ADP discussions.

“For us, more delay will mean more floods, more famines, more storms, and inevitably, more deaths.

“To that end, it is essential we have another ADP* session in September as well as a Ministerial level meeting at COP19** in Warsaw that is geared to raising mitigation ambition. These meetings will be essential to get the necessary political commitments for lowering emissions.

“Finally, the ADP process must culminate with a Protocol under the Convention applicable to all Parties and adopted no later than 2015. We call on our colleagues to reflect on how their delegation can contribute to achieving this objective over the next few weeks and come back to Bonn in June ready to get to work.”

*ADP refers to the the Ad Hoc Working Group on the Durban Platform for Enhanced Action — a body under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change in which parties to the convention negotiate.

** COP19 is the 19th conference of parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change. It will take place in November 2013.

LDC group spokesperson in Bonn: Sandra Freitas
ldc.unfccc.communication@gmail.com

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Least Developed Countries will not be complicit in farce leading toward a 4°C warmer world

Press release from the Least Developed Countries group at the international negotiations under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, a session of which began today in Bonn, Germany.

For immediate release. 

The 49 least developed countries will not be complicit in a farce leading toward a 4°C warmer world

Bonn, April 29, 2013. Inaugurating its first negotiation session, as the new chair of the group of the Least Developed Countries (LDCs), Mr. Prakash Mathema from Nepal, urges Parties to show leadership to achieve real and substantial progress on the negotiation of a 2015 treaty and to close the mitigation gap before 2020. “There is no more time to waste, so we need to stop going round in circles”, he said.

Over the long and tedious journey of the climate change negotiations, the LDC Group has continuously stressed that they will be the most seriously hit by the impacts of climate change. The effects are already being seen – we are all experiencing an increased number of droughts, severe storms, and floods. These events are increasing in frequency, magnitude and intensity, and worsening from day to day the quality of life of already vulnerable populations. Delay in action against climate change is not an option for the group.

During their preparation of the Bonn talks, the group formulated their bottom line: start real negotiations now! We must not embark on yet another procedural heavy process. Delay will certainly lead to a 4°C warmer world. The message from the group regarding the current negotiation is clear “We must draw lessons from the past negotiations under this Convention, and implement urgent actions to address climate change. We should ensure that the outcomes of Durban are implemented as a matter of urgency. Without substantial progress to close the 8–13 gigatonne mitigation gap before 2020, the LDCs would not be prepared to accept a weak outcome.”

The sum of mitigation-related actions by all Parties should lead to an aggregate global emission pathway that is scientifically consistent with limiting warming below 1.5°C by the end of the 21st century. This calls for clear short-, medium- and long-term commitments which should be subjected to regular reviews, and be based on latest science.

Adaptation and climate resilience are the top priorities for the LDCs for which international support for technology, capacity building and finance is still inadequate. If global emissions are not limited, our countries will be confronted with a situation where adaptation requirements will far exceed capacities even if all possible international support is provided. “At a certain point adaptation will have its limits and in the long-term, mitigation is the best form of adaptation”, stressed Mr. Mathema.

LDC group spokesperson in Bonn: Sandra Freitas
ldc.unfccc.communication@gmail.com

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LDCs aim to lead climate change negotiations towards 2015

LDC Group press release
Kathmandu, Nepal, 25 March 2013

Some key negotiators of the Least Developed Countries (LDC) Group in the United Nations Framework on Climate Change Convention met in Kathmandu, Nepal on 22-23 March 2013 under the leadership of the new Chair of the Group, Mr Prakash Mathema from the Government of Nepal.

The aim of the meeting was to reflect on the outcome of the latest negotiations that took place last year in Doha, and to define priorities, goals and a strategy to achieve them during Mr Mathema’s Chairmanship.

Participants also discussed the challenges ahead of the group and the need for enhanced support to implement the new strategy. The outcomes of the meeting are to be further refined by the LDC Group when they meet at the first UNFCCC meeting for this year, in Bonn next month.

The LDC Group, consisting of 49 of the poorest and most vulnerable developing countries mainly from Africa and Asia aims to become deal makers for a new “2015 Protocol” to be decided at the twenty-first conference of parties (COP21) in Paris, France in December 2015.

“We are the most vulnerable countries and we are tired of following others, tired of waiting for the others to shape the agendas and decisions for us,” said Prakash Mathema, Chair of LDC Group, “From now on, our aim is to take the lead and invite others to follow us.”

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Press release: Talks Falling Short on Short-Term Ambition

As the first week of climate change negotiations in Doha concludes, the Alliance of Small Island States, Least Developed Countries and the African Group, which together represent 100 countries and over 1.4 billion people who are highly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change, raised concerns that the talks are falling short of the commitments on short-term ambition that were central to the agreement reached last year in Durban.

“As representatives of over 1.4 billion people around the world who are already suffering, and in some cases dying, because of climate change, we are gravely concerned that the negotiations have drifted away from conversations about short-term – pre-2020 – mitigation ambition.

“Prior to the start of the meeting, a series of scientific reports reminded negotiators that without bold action, the world is on track for 3-5 degree Celsius rise in temperature. Today we saw another analysis that showed limiting global warming below 2 degrees C – or even to below 1.5 degrees remains technically and economically feasible, but only with political ambition backed by rapid action starting now. Read the rest of this entry »

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Press release: Kyoto Is Essential to Successful Outcome in Doha

Ahead of the climate change negotiations in Doha, the Alliance of Small Island States, Least Developed Countries and the African Group, which together represent 100 countries and 1.4 billion people who are highly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change, released the following statement urging developed countries to fulfil their responsibility to take the lead in addressing the crisis and outlined key expectations for the 2012 climate conference: Read the rest of this entry »

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