Chair of Least Developed Countries Group responds to US Rollback on Climate Action

On 28 March, President Trump signed an executive order significantly undermining US action on climate change.

This decision will roll back US plans to decarbonise its energy sector and economy under the Clean Power Plan. It will also derail the US’ efforts to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions in line with its commitments to the international community in the global fight against climate change.

Chair of the Least Developed Countries Group, Gebru Jember Endalew, said: “I am seriously concerned that President Trump has decided to roll back key climate change policies and hinder the progress made in decarbonising the US economy because this decision will have a serious impact on the global trajectory on climate action.  It will also have a significant, detrimental impact on the US economy, American jobs and industry, and the health of Americans, their children and future generations.”

“Climate change is already causing devastating impacts, both in the US and on the poor and vulnerable people in our countries. Communities in our countries have been feeling these impacts for decades. Americans too have already felt the impact of record droughts, heat waves, flooding and rising sea levels. These impacts will only become more severe without ambitious action and cooperation by all nations, including the US.”

“Countries, states, cities and the biggest companies across the US and the world are already taking such action and inspiring others to do the same. The most progressive countries in the world are leading the way with their ambitious action and they are on track to define and lead the new low-carbon economies of the future. They will be the most prosperous and competitive societies as a result. Even in the US, there are already more Americans working in jobs providing clean energy than all fossil fuels-related jobs combined. It is clear that this momentum is real and undeniable”.

“The world cannot afford to wait. In the face of this US President’s decision, the international community must continue to tackle climate change and cooperate to meet the vital goals we set in the historic Paris Agreement for the safety of present and future generations.”

“I am heartened by the commitments of other countries in the international community to take on a leadership role on climate change.”

“I strongly urge President Trump to reconsider his decision, to protect current and future generations of Americans and to meet the US’ international commitments in the global effort to tackle climate change. America needs to develop a clear and effective plan to do this. The US should also continue to play an important role in the solution by re-joining the collective fight against climate change and continuing to provide crucial support to the countries that need it.”

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Welcome from the Chair of the Least Developed Countries Group

It is with great pleasure that I provide this introduction to the work of the Least Developed Countries (LDC) Group.

As the poorest countries in the world, the 48 LDCs are particularly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change.  The LDC Group represents these nations at the UN climate change negotiations, where we work to secure fair and ambitious action to tackle the global challenge of climate change.

With the entry into force of the Paris Agreement last year, the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change process has renewed momentum.  Yet while the Paris Agreement is an important milestone, we cannot lose sight of the major actions required to put the global community on a path towards a safer and more prosperous future for all.

The LDC Group will continue to offer leadership and cooperation to limit global temperature increases to 1.5°C and is committed to working with our partners across the world to implement concrete actions that will be felt back home in our communities.

As Chair of the LDC Group I look forward to working with all concerned in our common efforts to tackle climate change.  We hope you find the information contained on this website useful, and look forward to continued dialogue and support.

With best regards, 

Gebru Jember Endalew

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COP22 Launches Major Global Partnership on Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency

MARRAKECH–Last night representatives of dozens of developing countries, including Africa, small island states, least developed countries and Central American countries joined COP President Morocco in launching the Marrakech Global Partnership on Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency.  The Global Partnership is a major outcome on clean energy from a conference aiming to deliver concrete action and implementation, after a year of high momentum following the adoption of the Paris Agreement.

The launch of the Global Partnership is the culmination of a year of collaboration among emerging renewable energy and energy efficiency initiatives worldwide. In May of this year at climate negotiations in Bonn, Germany, leaders of key negotiating blocs called for for a global partnership. There the Chairs of the Least Developed Countries (LDC) Group, African Group and Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS)- representing over 90 countries – were joined by leaders from Morocco and Sweden, building off the inspiration of the Africa Renewable Energy Initiative (AREI), launched at COP 21 in Paris last year. The AREI, a program with pledges of USD 10 billion in financial support, aims to accelerate the harnessing of Africa’s huge renewable energy potential in an African-owned and African-led effort to mobilise 300 GW of renewable energy generation capacity in Africa by 2030.

Founders of the Global Partnership include five regional renewable energy and energy efficiency initiatives from Africa, small island states and least developed countries as well as collaboration with central American countries.

Mr. Tosi Mpanu-Mpanu, Chair of the LDCs, set out the Global Partnership’s vision at the launch, and said: “at this action and implementation COP, the Marrakech Global Partnership is a concrete outcome brightening the futures of the 1.3bn people who currently lack adequate access to energy. The Global Partnership forms a ‘roof’ supported by the sturdy pillars of regional initiatives, including the newly launched LDC Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Initiative (REEEI) for Sustainable Development. These pillars support a home that is more than the sum of its parts, catalysing transformative global action in the energy sector by growing capacity, sharing knowledge and building synergies.”

Mr. Amjad Abdulla, Chief Negotiator for AOSIS, said: “Island states are increasingly threatened by food insecurity, water shortages and devastating storms. We have recognised the urgency and decided to act now through our Initiative for Renewable Island Energy and the Global Partnership, demonstrating that countries most in need of access to clean energy and ambitious climate action are taking the lead in driving it.”

Ambassador Seyni Nafo, Chair of the African Group, said: “It is gratifying to see this African proposal for a Global Partnership take flight at a conference hosted by Africans on the African continent. Just as Africa is taking a lead through the Africa Renewable Energy Initiative, so must the rest of the world move towards low-to-zero carbon energy systems to keep warming below 1.5 degrees C.”

Mr. Ram Prasad Dhital, Executive Director, Alternative Energy Promotion Centre, Ministry of Population and Environment, Government of Nepal, said: “Only 5% of global energy finance flows into low income countries. The LDC Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Initiative is not trying to reinvent the wheel. Instead, it will fill the cracks LDCs currently fall through by facilitating access to finance flows and building capacity to establish the policies, regulations and project pipelines needed to get local projects off the ground.”

Minister Paul Oquist, of the Republic of Nicaragua, said: “I’ve often wondered why the most solar panels in the world are in the countries with the least sunshine. Many developing countries have enormous untapped renewable energy potential and the Global Partnership will enable communities to harness this. The link between electricity access and poverty is undeniable.Through the Global Partnership, Central American countries and other developing countries are on the path to low-carbon, sustainable development.”

Mr. Diego Pacheco, Head of the Bolivian Delegation at the UNFCCC, said: “The Plurinational State of Bolivia is pleased to associate with the Global Partnership. Policies and actions to facilitate renewable energy and energy efficiency in developing countries, are essential for moving towards sustainable development in harmony with Mother Earth.”

Mr. Saïd Mouline, Director of public/private partnership COP22, said: “The Global Partnership is a key outcome from COP22 and a shining light for South-South Cooperation. Developing countries are going above and beyond to take ambitious action in the energy sector and steer the world towards a safe and prosperous future for all. Morocco is proud to contribute a strong pillar to the Global Partnership with the International Energy Efficiency Initiative.”

Representatives of Sustainable Energy for All (SE4ALL), the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) also attended the event to welcome the new Partnership and expressed their support.  In addition, the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) which has been working in partnership with small island developing states to develop Initiative for Renewable Island Energy was also recognized as important.     

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Least Developed Countries Launch Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Initiative, Join Global Partnership to Rapidly Scale Up Clean Energy Transformation Worldwide

 

LDC REEEI graphic.PNG

MARRAKECH–Today, the Least Developed Countries Group announced the launch of its new Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Initiative (REEEI) for Sustainable Development. The initiative is one of the key, concrete outcomes of the Marrakech climate conference.

REEEI will scale up the provision of renewable energy to LDCs while promoting energy efficiency; recognising the crucial role that energy plays in rural development, industrialisation and the provision of services. REEEI was welcomed by LDC ministers and heads of delegation, representing the world’s 48 poorest countries, at a meeting of LDC negotiators in Kinshasa in September. REEEI will be a key element of the Global Partnership on Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency, also to be launched in Marrakech.

Representatives of the LDC group sparking life into the initiative include:

  • Tosi Mpanu-Mpanu, Chair of the Least Developed Countries Group and Head of delegation of the Democratic Republic of the Congo
  • Gebru Jember Endalew, Incoming Chair of the Least Developed Countries Group and head of delegation of Ethiopia
  • Ram Prasad Dhital, Executive Director of Alternative Energy Promotion Centre, Ministry of Population and Environment, Nepal

Mr. Mpanu-Mpanu said “The LDC REEEI demonstrates the continued commitment of the LDC Group to real solutions that benefit real people on the ground. The initiative will enable LDCs to leapfrog fossil fuel based energy and light up the lives of millions of energy-starved people through modern, clean and resilient energy systems.”

“The adoption of the Paris Agreement and Sustainable Development Goals are flicking the switch on a new phase of global action and implementation. The LDC REEEI is an important part of this process emerging from the Marrakech climate conference, providing concrete action to address climate change while empowering the world’s most vulnerable communities to build a path to sustainable development.”

Mr. Jember said “The LDC REEEI is a key success for the LDC Group here in Marrakech. Going forward the initiative will empower our poorest communities and put the LDCs ahead of the curve in taking ambitious mitigation action.”

“The initiative will ensure no LDC is left behind by strengthening the capacity of LDCs to tap into existing initiatives, including the Africa Renewable Energy Initiative, and providing support to those who fall within the cracks between current frameworks.”

Mr. Dhital said “Most of the world’s 1.3bn people who lack adequate access to energy live in LDCs. Yet we face many economic, social and institutional obstacles on the path to energy growth, and grapple with a lack of capacity to overcome them.”

“The LDC REEEI will stimulate decentralised energy, which can have the fastest impacts in rural communities and deliver local-ownership over energy supply, putting power into the hands of the people.”

Les Pays les Moins Avancés lancent l’Initiative pour l’Energie Renouvelable et l’Efficacité Energétique et rejoignent le Partenariat mondial pour une transition vers les énergies propres.

MARRAKECH – Aujourd’hui, le Groupe des Pays les Moins Avancés a annoncé le lancement de sa nouvelle Initiative pour l’Energie Renouvelable et l’Efficacité Energétique (IEREE) en faveur du développement durable. L’initiative est l’un des résultats clés et concrets de la conférence de Marrakech sur le climat.

L’IEREE permettra d’augmenter la part d’énergie renouvelable au sein des PMA et fera la promotion de l’efficacité énergétique car l’énergie joue un rôle crucial dans le développement rural, l’industrialisation et l’accès aux services. L’IEREE a été accueillie très favorablement par les ministres des PMA et les chefs de délégation représentant les 48 pays les plus pauvres du monde lors d’une réunion des négociateurs des PMA à Kinshasa en septembre. L’IEREE sera un élément clé du Partenariat mondial pour les énergies renouvelables et l’efficacité énergétique, qui sera également lancé à Marrakech.

Parmi les représentants du groupe des PMA qui ont lancé cette initiative, on peut citer :

– M. Tosi Mpanu-Mpanu, Président du Groupe des Pays les Moins Avancés et Chef de la délégation de la République Démocratique du Congo

– M. Gebru Jember Endalew, Président entrant du Groupe des Pays les Moins Avancés et Chef de la délégation de l’Éthiopie

– M. Ram Prasad Dhital, Directeur exécutif du Centre de promotion des énergies alternatives, Ministère de la population et de l’environnement, Népal

Mpanu-Mpanu a déclaré: « L’IEREE lancée par les PMA témoigne de l’engagement continu du Groupe des PMA à trouver de véritables solutions qui profitent réellement aux citoyens dans leur vie quotidienne. L’initiative permettra aux PMA de se passer des combustibles fossiles et d’éclairer la vie de millions de personnes privées d’énergie grâce à des systèmes énergétiques modernes, propres et résilients. »

« L’adoption de l’Accord de Paris et des Objectifs de Développement Durable donnent le coup d’envoi d’une nouvelle phase d’action et de mise en œuvre à l’échelle mondiale. L’IEREE des PMA est un élément important de la conférence de Marrakech sur le climat, fournissant des mesures concrètes pour lutter contre le changement climatique tout en donnant aux communautés les plus vulnérables la possibilité de construire un chemin vers le développement durable. »

Jember a déclaré: « L’IEREE des PMA est un succès clé pour le Groupe des PMA ici à Marrakech. Cette initiative permettra aux communautés les plus démunies d’aller de l’avant et de mettre les PMA à l’avant-garde avec des actions ambitieuses de réduction des émissions. »

«L’initiative permettra de veiller à ce qu’aucun PMA ne soit laissé de côté en renforçant la capacité de tous à exploiter les initiatives existantes, y compris l’Initiative Africaine pour les Energies Renouvelables, et en apportant un soutien aux exclus du système actuel.

Dhital a déclaré : «La majorité des 1,3 milliard de personnes dans le monde qui sont privés d’un accès à l’énergie vivent dans les PMA. Pourtant, nous sommes confrontés à de nombreux obstacles économiques, sociaux et institutionnels sur la voie de la croissance énergétique, et nous faisons face à un manque de capacité pour les surmonter ».

« Seulement 8% du financement climatique promis a réellement été utilisé à ce jour. Et concernant le financement de l’énergie, pourtant celui le mieux doté, les pays pauvres n’en ont reçu que 5%. Cette initiative aiderait les PMA à développer leur capacité de mettre en place les politiques et les projets nécessaires pour accroître les financements de l’énergie. »

Et M. Mpanu-Mpanu d’ajouter: « L’IEREE stimulera l’énergie décentralisée, qui peut avoir les impacts les plus rapides dans les communautés rurales et relocalisera localement l’approvisionnement en énergie en mettant le pouvoir dans les mains des gens. »

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Ethiopia Announced for Chairmanship of Least Developed Countries Group

Marrakech, 14 November – Ethiopia was announced today as the successful candidate for the Chairmanship of the Least Developed Countries group. Mr Gebru Jember Endalew of Ethiopia will Chair the climate negotiating group for 2017-18. The LDCs are the 48 poorest countries in the world, and are some of the most vulnerable to the impacts of climate change.

Mr. Tosi Mpanu-Mpanu, the outgoing Chair of LDC group at the end of 2016, said: ‘Mr. Endalew is an experienced negotiator who has worked tirelessly to protect the interests of the world’s poorest in the international climate negotiations. I trust that he will continue to be a powerful voice for fair and ambitious action as we fight for prosperity for all.’

‘Much work remains to be done under the UN climate negotiations. We must breathe life into the Paris Agreement and generate concrete action to tackle and adapt to climate change. I am confident Mr. Endalew will be an able captain.’

‘I congratulate Ethiopia and Mr. Endalew, and look forward to continued collaboration amongst the LDC group in future negotiations as we call for a scaling up of equitable climate action to safeguard our livelihoods and our planet.’

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Least Developed Countries group calls for fair and ambitious action at COP22

From 7-18 November 2016, the United Nations climate change negotiations will convene in Marrakech, Morocco, for COP 22. The negotiations come after a year of growing international political momentum to address climate change, following the historic adoption of the Paris Agreement in December 2015. Chair of the Least Developed Countries (LDC) group, Tosi Mpanu-Mpanu, said “COP22 will be an action and implementation COP. As the world’s poorest countries, the LDC group calls for fair and ambitious action. We must build upon the foundations set in Paris to construct robust rules to support the Agreement’s implementation.”

Noting with concern that full implementation of current pledges by countries to cut greenhouse gas emissions puts the world on track for 3-3.5°C of warming above pre-industrial levels, Mr Mpanu-Mpanu said: “Science tells us that beyond temperature increases of 1.5°C the future of our planet stands on increasingly thin ice. It is imperative for communities across the world that countries take seriously their goal to pursue efforts to keep temperatures below 1.5°C. We cannot afford to treat this as an aspirational goal. An upwards spiralling of commitments to cut emissions that is both fair and proportionate to challenge rising before us is vital.”

LDCs plan to contribute to these global efforts through the LDC Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Initiative (REEEI) for Sustainable Development, among other ways. Mr Mpanu-Mpanu said: “the upcoming launch of the LDC REEEI in Marrakech demonstrates the continued commitment of the LDC group to real solutions that benefit real people on the ground. The Initiative will enable LDCs to leapfrog fossil fuel based energy and generate prosperity by bringing modern, clean, resilient energy systems to millions of energy-starved people.”

LDCs are particularly vulnerable to climate change, with hazards including rising sea levels, extreme weather events, increased drought and floods and the spread of tropical diseases threatening health and food security. “As LDCs, we lack the resources and capacity to adequately protect our communities from the devastating impacts of climate change. In Marrakech we seek greater commitment from developed countries to provide financial support, technology and capacity building to enable LDCs to respond to the climate crisis,” Mr Mpanu-Mpanu said.

The Marrakech meeting will see entry into force of the Paris Agreement on 4 November. Mr. Mpanu-Mpanu said: “the first meeting of the CMA is an important springboard for the implementation of the Paris Agreement. We celebrate newfound global unity to act on climate change. But given the moment of entry into force has arrived earlier than anticipated we must also ensure countries yet to deposit their instruments of ratification are not left behind on the launchpad. We look forward to an inclusive and transparent process in Marrakech that allows all countries to participate as we approach this next hurdle.”

Mr Mpanu-Mpanu also emphasised the necessity of pre-2020 action: “The impacts of climate change are already upon us. Pre-2020 action must be strengthened urgently to provide the thrust needed to propel our economies and policies towards effective, sustainable and ambitious actions.”

The LDC group has already convened in Marrakech for preparatory meetings from 1-2 November, to consolidate LDC positions and strategies ahead of the upcoming negotiations.

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COP22 – Media Background Note

 

From 7-18 November 2016, the United Nations climate change negotiations will convene in Marrakech, Morocco, for COP 22.[1] The upcoming conference comes after a year of growing political momentum within the international community to address climate change. In December 2015 the Paris Agreement was adopted and, following a series of important political events, the Agreement will now enter into force on 4 November 2016. This comes about due to more than 55 countries representing 55% of global greenhouse gas emissions ratifying the Agreement, a threshold which was passed much sooner than anticipated, demonstrating strong global will to combat climate change.

While international political progress over the past year has been significant, countries are still far from implementing actions on the scale required to steer the planet away from dangerous climate change and achieve the goals that have been set under international agreements. For developing countries, and in particular the Least Developed Countries (LDCs), Marrakech is an important opportunity to continue working towards a strong and fair international response to climate change, to protect poor and vulnerable communities across the world and safeguard the planet for future generations.

At COP22 the focus is shifting from procedural discussions on how to organise the work under the Paris Agreement to action and implementation. Parties will begin negotiating how the UNFCCC’s ‘rule book’ will be elaborated to ensure the commitments Parties made in Paris are translated into tangible actions to address climate change. The entry into force of the Paris Agreement means that the first meeting of parties to the Paris Agreement (CMA) will take place in Marrakech (see the note below on early entry into force and the structure of negotiations). The CMA is a meeting of all the countries that have ratified the Paris Agreement and is tasked with making decisions to promote the effective implementation of the agreement.[2]

Detailed in this note are some of the key questions arising in Marrakech, including:

  • How will support be secured for poor and vulnerable countries?
  • How will global temperature goals be met?
  • How will countries adapt to the adverse impacts of climate change?
  • How will countries cope with the unavoidable impacts of climate change?

The development of the “LDC Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Initiative (REEEI) for Sustainable Development” is also outlined; an initiative reflecting countries’ intention to take real action on climate change at COP22.

The Least Developed Countries group is committed to achieving fair and ambitious outcomes on all of the issues arising at COP 22, not just those listed here. For further information, interviews, briefings or quotes on these topics or others from the LDC group during COP 22 please contact Tosi Mpanu-Mpanu, Chair of the LDC group, media.ldcchair.cop22@gmail.com.

1.      The LDC Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Initiative for Sustainable Development

The Marrakech conference will provide a platform for the advancing collaborative efforts by countries to act on climate change. Of particular significance to the LDCs is the “LDC Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Initiative (REEEI) for Sustainable Development”. Ministers and Heads of Delegation from the LDCs welcomed the proposed initiative at a meeting of LDC negotiators in Kinshasa in September, providing a platform for its launch at COP22.

The LDC REEEI promises to improve livelihoods across the LDCs, bringing modern, clean, resilient energy systems to millions of energy-starved people. Through improved energy access and the creation of jobs, the Initiative will simultaneously contribute to the realisation of the Sustainable Development Goals. The initiative aims to ensure no LDC will be left behind by supporting African LDCs to participate effectively in the Africa Renewable Energy Initiative, while developing similar opportunities for Asian and other LDCs. The initiative also offers an opportunity for developed countries to fulfil their commitments to provide financial, technological and capacity building support under UNFCCC agreements.

The LDC REEEI is to form part of a broader Global Programme on Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency that will foster access to energy and sustainable development across the LDCs, African countries and small island and other developing states.

2.      How will support to poor and vulnerable countries be secured?

Key discussions in Marrakech will take place around the commitment made by developed countries to mobilise a minimum of $100bn a year in climate finance to support developing countries to adapt to climate change and take actions to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions. Developing countries are the most vulnerable to the impacts of climate change and yet many lack the capacity to adequately protect their populations from the severe storms, increased drought, sea level rise and spreading disease that is already starting to occur. Further, while most developing countries have also submitted plans to limit their emissions in their intended or final Nationally Determined Contributions under the Paris Agreement, many have also noted the need for support in order to carry out their mitigation and adaptation commitments. Preliminary estimates of the total amount of finance required for developing countries to implement their NDCs exceed $4tn USD. However, given that only half of developing countries provided estimated cost figures in their NDCs, the real figure is likely to be much higher.

A key issue with respect to climate finance is also how climate finance is tracked and accounted for. Much of the finance counted as climate finance in official reports in fact comes from Official Development Assistance, which would have been provided as development aid in any case. Much climate finance also comes in the form of loans rather than grants. Climate change is a challenge which is both additional to and exacerbates existing development challenges, so to ensure all countries have the tools and resources to reduce their emissions and protect their communities it is important that the finance counted towards the $100bn minimum target represents new and additional finance that goes beyond Official Development Assistance and takes into account the needs of developing countries.

LDC ministers in their recent meeting in Kinshasa also emphasised the importance of developing country ownership over finance provided, urging the Financial Mechanism of the Paris Agreement “to ensure country ownership, facilitate direct access and provide support while prioritizing the most vulnerable countries particularly LDCs to develop quality projects.”[3]

3.      How will global temperature goals be met?

In Marrakech, key discussions will continue around action to curb greenhouse gas emissions to safe limits for communities and ecosystems across the world. Reports by the IPCC (the UN’s climate science panel) highlight the urgent need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to avoid the most catastrophic of projected impacts. The Paris Agreement sets a goal of keeping average global temperatures well below 2°C and pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels.[4] This goal must be taken seriously as many vulnerable countries face devastating impacts even with 1.5°C of warming, particularly small island states, some of which could disappear due to rising sea-levels at warming above these levels. Warming above these levels increases the risks of severe, pervasive and irreversible impacts.[5]

If countries continue emitting in a business as usual scenario the world will experience warming of 2.6-4.8°C above preindustrial levels by the end of the century.[6] Current targets set by countries under their Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) to reduce greenhouse gas emissions globally are also not enough, and are projected to lead to temperatures 3-3.5 degrees above preindustrial levels (this is also assuming full implementation of developing country commitments which are conditional on the provision of support from developed countries).[7]

The Paris Agreement provides that every five years countries will submit a new NDC that represents a ‘progression’ beyond their current commitments.[8] Thus, important discussions will be had in Marrakech around how the Paris Agreement will facilitate an upwards spiralling of commitments that is both fair and proportional to the task at hand. This will include mechanisms to enhance accountability among countries such as reporting and review requirements, to enable the scrutinization of countries’ actions against the best available science.

4.      How will countries adapt to climate change?

Ongoing discussions around how countries will adapt to the adverse impacts of climate change are imperative to an effective global response, with the communities across the world at risk. These impacts are particularly acute in the LDCs, as rising sea levels, extreme weather events, increased drought and floods and the spread of tropical diseases threaten public health, food security and water supplies. In the lead up to the Marrakech conference, LDC ministers have emphasised the need to “raise the profile of adaptation by insisting on recognition of adaptation efforts”.[9] Recognition of adaptation as a component of the commitments made by countries under their NDCs was an important achievement in Paris.[10]

An important debate in Marrakech will be around how the UNFCCC’s ‘rule book’ will be elaborated to further adaptation action. The adaptation provisions within the Paris Agreement are expressed quite generally and require further modalities to be developed by Parties.[11] The upcoming negotiations are an important opportunity for countries to form the rules and mechanisms that will support adaptation efforts into the future.

In Marrakech discussions will also be had around how developed countries will provide support to ensure all countries can meet their adaptation commitments. LDC ministers recently called for the “mobilization of adequate and effective support for adaptation”,[12] to enable communities to prepare their economies, infrastructure and social support structures for the impacts of climate change.

5.      How will countries cope with unavoidable climate impacts?

Not all of the negative effects of climate change are avoidable. With a changing climate, communities who are reliant on agriculture can have their livelihoods wiped out during a single bad drought, while island states face the loss of homes, culture and history of entire populations. Thus, an important aspect of responding to climate change effectively is addressing impacts that communities are not able to cope with or adapt to. In the UNFCCC process this is referred to as ‘loss and damage’.

A significant achievement in Paris was the recognition of loss and damage as a key action area in the international community’s response to climate change, with a standalone provision in the Paris Agreement. However, as with adaptation, the loss and damage provision is expressed in general terms and further work will be required to fully elaborate a mechanism to “enhances understanding, action and support” with respect to loss and damage.[13]

A central component of the framework for loss and damage negotiated in Paris is strengthening the existing Warsaw International Mechanism for Loss and Damage associated with Climate Change Impacts.  Countries agreed that this will include establishing a clearinghouse for risk transfer to act as a repository for information to assist with the development of comprehensive risk management strategies.[14] This will help developing countries to gain greater understanding of and access to risk management tools such as insurance and contingency funds which can be used to address loss and damage. A task force to assist people displaced by the impacts of climate change will also be developed.[15]

A note on early entry into force of the Paris Agreement and structure of negotiations

The climate negotiations involve the meeting of several bodies. The Conference of the Parties (COP) is the meeting of all the countries who are party to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). 2016 will be the 22nd meeting of the COP. The ultimate decision making body of the Paris Agreement, the CMA will also take place for the first time this year. This is the body that will make decisions specifically relating to fleshing out and elaborating the Paris Agreement.

The Paris Agreement and decision require the first meeting of the CMA to adopt numerous rules and modalities to develop the ‘rulebook’ mentioned above. However, given the Agreement was not expected to enter into force this year there is concern that work on developing these rules and modalities will not be complete by Marrakech.[16] Further, only countries which have ratified the Paris Agreement can participate actively in the CMA, which means that countries which have not yet ratified may be shut out of some of the key early decisions to be made. One option to ensure that no country is disadvantaged or excluded from the collective development of the Paris Agreement rulebook would be to suspend the CMA immediately after it is convened in Marrakech and mandate that work continues under the COP and its subsidiary negotiating body the APA on developing rules, modalities and procedures, to be completed within a given timeframe. All countries could then continue to shape the rulebook for the Paris Agreement in an inclusive manner. This will be a key point of discussion in the lead up to Marrakech.

The Subsidiary Body on Scientific and Technological Advice (SBSTA) and the Subsidiary Body on Implementation (SBI) will also meet. Negotiations under the Kyoto Protocol will also continue at the conference, with the twelfth meeting of the Parties to the Protocol (CMP 12).

[1] The 22nd Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

[2] http://unfccc.int/bodies/body/9968.php

[3] Communiqué from the LDC Pre-Marrakech ministerial meeting, hosted in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo, 28 September 2016, Annex: thematic priorities: https://ldcclimate.wordpress.com/2016/10/22/ldc-pre-marrakech-ministerial-meeting-kinshasa-democratic-republic-of-congo-28-september-2016/.

[4] Paris Agreement, Article 2(1)(a).

[5] UNFCCC 2013-2015 Review and Structured Expert Dialogue http://unfccc.int/files/science/workstreams/the_2013-2015_review/application/pdf/sed_final_report_presentation_a__fischlin__zou_ji.pdf

[6] IPCC Fifth Assessment Report, summary for policy makers, page 10: https://www.ipcc.ch/pdf/assessment-report/ar5/syr/AR5_SYR_FINAL_SPM.pdf

[7] UNEP Emissions Gap Report 2015, pages 21-22. http://uneplive.unep.org/media/docs/theme/13/EGR_2015_301115_lores.pdf

[8] Paris Agreement, Article 3.

[9] Communiqué from the LDC Pre-Marrakech ministerial meeting, hosted in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo, 28 September 2016, Annex: thematic priorities: https://ldcclimate.wordpress.com/2016/10/22/ldc-pre-marrakech-ministerial-meeting-kinshasa-democratic-republic-of-congo-28-september-2016/ .

[10] Paris Agreement, Article 3.

[11] Paris Agreement, Articles 3 and 7.

[12] Communiqué from the LDC Pre-Marrakech ministerial meeting, hosted in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo, 28 September 2016, Annex: thematic priorities: https://ldcclimate.wordpress.com/2016/10/22/ldc-pre-marrakech-ministerial-meeting-kinshasa-democratic-republic-of-congo-28-september-2016/ .

[13] Paris Agreement, Article 8(3).

[14] Decision 1/CP.21 Article 49

[15] Decision 1/CP.21 Article 50.

[16] http://pubs.iied.org/pdfs/10153IIED.pdf

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