LDC Group’s opening statement at 15th AWG-LCA session (May 2012)

Opening statement by the Gambia on behalf of the group of Least Developed Countries (LDCs) at the fifteenth session of the AWG LCA

Bonn. 15 May 2012

Mr. Chair, the Gambia has the honour to speak on behalf of the group of Least Developed Countries. The LDC group associates ourselves with the statements made by Algeria on behalf of the G77 and China, Swaziland on behalf of the Africa Group, and Nauru on behalf of the Alliance of Small Islands States (AOSIS).

Mr. Chair, we are concerned that the list of unresolved issues under LCA, before concluding it at the end of this year, is long and the time available to conclude all of them is considerably short. All the issues remaining are extremely important and central to concluding the LCA.

Mr. Chair, we will not be able to claim that we have fulfilled our mandate of the Bali Action Plan if we are unable to agree on the ways for addressing the mitigation ambition gap and ensuring the level of ambition is increased in 2012.

In undertaking NAMAs, it is also essential that opportunities are available to LDCs and SIDS to embark on sustainable development pathways through the appropriate funding, technological transfer and capacity building to enable effective engagement of our countries.

Mr. Chair, the discussions on new market mechanisms must ensure real, permanent, additional and verified mitigation outcomes, that avoid double counting of effort and achieve a net decrease of greenhouse gas emissions while supporting the sustainable development of host countries. A robust system with accurate accounting of emissions reductions and international accounting rules will be necessary.

The review of the adequacy of the long-term goal is vitally important for the LDCs and we hope that the outcomes of the review process will be duly completed in order to help finalising a new protocol under the Durban Platform by 2015.

Mr. Chair, we need to enter into in depth and frank discussions on medium and long-term finance and sources. We must ensure there is no financial gap after the fast-start finance period ends in 2012.

LDCs and other developing countries have requested for firm scaling up process from 2013, but we have not yet seen any signs for scaling up. Also, issues related to principles of ‘new and additional’, balance between adaptation and mitigation’ need not be elephants in the room anymore and should be discussed openly, at least in this final year of LCA negotiations. Parties must ensure that they understand that these concepts are relevant beyond 2012 especially as the fast start finance ends in 2012.

A robust work program on sources and long term financing should be defined with clear terms of references and a timeline to ensure the goal of 100 billion USD by 2020 is met. It must be emphasized that the long term finance commitment is not a one time commitment only.  We agreed in Cancun that 100 billion should be mobilized in 2020, and annually from 2020. We therefore urge more developed countries to come forward and demonstrate their real commitment towards the capitalization of Green Climate Fund.

Debates on private finance are a growing concern for LDCs. It seems that some countries are coming up with different interpretations and trying to include any type of private finance as climate finance. This is not acceptable and there should be clear frames in understanding what private finance means.

LCA conclusions must include clear and concrete decisions on the ways to mobilize international cooperation to support adaptation actions including inter alia specific projects and programmes and other means to enable climate resilient development and reduce vulnerability of Parties, taking into account special circumstances of LDCs, SIDS and countries in Africa.

Mr. Chair, we would like to know how Parties intend to use the outputs of various workshops proposed for this year. A clear method for capturing the outputs of workshops must be introduced in order not to waste the time spent for those workshops.

Mr. Chair, finally, all work of LCA must be in line with the principles and provisions of the Convention, including the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities.  Our aim must be to complete and conclude 5 years of all our hard work positively and constructively and ensure expedited full operationalization of new institutions established in Cancun and Durban.  The challenges ahead of us may look insurmountable, but still quite little in comparison with the climate induced burden already faced by our communities in their everyday life.

LDCs are prepared to engage fully in negotiations with all parties so together we make LCA proudly deliver an effective outcome and conclude successfully.

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