Least Developed Countries issue bold plan to energize UN climate change talks

The world’s poorest countries have issued a bold plan to make the UN climate change talks more likely to reach their goal of having an effective and legally binding agreement ready for governments to adopt by 2015.

The Least Developed Countries (LDCs) group’s formal submission to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, under which the talks take place, includes the following demands:

  • The new legally binding agreement should take the form of a new protocol under the convention that builds on and enhances the commitments under the Kyoto Protocol.
  • Parties should agree new rules to allow the adoption of the Protocol by a 75% majority, not by consensus as under current rules.
  • A final negotiating text should be ready a full year ahead of the 2015 deadline rather than the usual six months deadline that the UNFCCC imposes.
  • Raising the ambition of commitments to mitigate climate change before 2020 must be the top priority.
  • The new Protocol should have as a key objective, the full implementation ofmitigation, adaptation and finance and capacity building among others.
  • Systems for monitoring, reporting and verifying finance and mitigation actions must not be weaker than but should build upon those that already exist in the Kyoto Protocol.

“At last year’s conference of parties to the convention in Durban, parties agreed to complete negotiations by 2015, but such deadlines have been broken before,” says Pa Ousman Jarju, the chair of the LDC group. “Our countries cannot wait. We are already feeling the effects of climate change, but the time has come for us to be leaders in the international effort to address this global challenge.”

“The creation of a new body to negotiate a second protocol under the Convention represents an overdue acknowledgement by all Parties that the Convention and the Kyoto Protocol alone are insufficient to drive action consistent with the ultimate objective of the Convention,” says Jarju. “Urgent action is needed by all Parties to prevent dangerous interference with the climate system, and in particular to stay below 2°C and keep open the possibility of limiting warming to 1.5°C above preindustrial in the long-term as called for by the most vulnerable countries.”

As negotiators gather in Bonn for the latest round of talks this week, the LDC group also proposes changes to the way the negotiations work to make them faster and fairer.

To ensure that all issues can be dealt with, the group says the number and duration of future negotiation sessions must be agreed in Bonn, along with a timetable to discuss particular issues.

The group also says parties should consider electing officers to the bureau that will run the talks for more than the usual two year period, to ensure continuity – and that the size of the bureau should perhaps be expanded given the urgency of its task and that wide range of topics it must work on.

“The LDC group comes to the Bonn climate change talks with a strong set of recommendations,” says Pa Ousman Jarju. “In the spirit of international cooperation and with our desire to see the UN climate change convention meet its objective, we urge other parties to join our call for these improvements to the negotiating process and its final goals.”

Download the LDC group’s submission to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change [PDF]

For interviews, contact

Pa Ousman Jarju, the LDC group chair at LDCchair2011@gmail.com or Sandra Freitas, the LDC group spokesperson at ldc.unfccc.communication@gmail.com

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