LDC group statement at the opening plenary of COP 18

Statement by The Gambia on behalf of the Least Developed Countries (LDCs)

Opening Plenary of the Eighteenth Session of the Conference of Parties of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP 18)

26 November 2012, Doha, Qatar

Mr. President,

The Gambia has the honor to deliver this statement on behalf of the Least Developed Countries Group.

I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate you on your election as President of the Eighteenth Conference of the Parties and the Eighth Conference of Parties serving as the Meeting of Parties of the Kyoto Protocol.

We are confident that you will lead this process in an open, transparent and inclusive manner. To this end, we confirm our full cooperation and commitment in reaching desirable outcomes in Doha.

We associate ourselves with the statements made by Algeria on behalf of the Group of 77 & China, Swaziland on behalf of the African Group, and Nauru on behalf of Alliance of Small Islands Developing States.

We would also like to express our appreciations and gratitude to the Government and people of Qatar, for the warm hospitality and thank the UNFCCC Secretariat for their excellent arrangements.

Mr. President, the International Energy Agency’s “World Energy Outlook” of 2012 showed that Global energy-related CO2 emissions increased by 3.2% in 2011 to reach a record 31.2 GtCO2. Coal has met nearly half the rise in global energy demand in the last decade, growing faster than renewables.  This year’s UNEP Gap Report estimated a 2020 Emissions Gap larger by 2 GtCO2e compared to last year’s Gap estimate.

Mr.  President, with the emissions increase in the atmosphere, climate related disasters have become the new normal in our countries. Since 1980, droughts, extreme temperatures, floods, and hurricanes have caused an estimated 1.3 million deaths. Two-thirds of these deaths – over 909,000 – occurred in the LDCs.

Mr. President, we are only 12 per cent of the world’s population, but we suffer the effects of climate-related disasters over five times as much as the world as a whole. All these disasters call for nothing else but to speed up global action towards addressing a low-emission future where everyone has the chance of survival and sustainable livelihood.

Mr. President, we understand that this year’s negotiations are particularly challenging. We have agreed to step out on a new path leading beyond 2020 but we must first resolve unfinished business from the Bali Road Map.

Mr. President, for a successful completion and termination of the LCA, we must agree on comparable targets and common accounting rules ensuring transparency and coherence across developed countries including those that are not Parties to the Kyoto Protocol.

Mr. President, substantial financial resources are key to keeping the global temperature rise below the 1.5 C target and helping developing countries adapt to unavoidable climate change impacts. Therefore, agreeing on a climate finance roadmap from 2013 to 2020 to provide new, additional and predictable public finance to developing countries is paramount for a successful outcome in Doha. We must agree on a decision in Doha to annually scale up developed countries’ public finance contributions from US$30 billion to a minimum of US$100 billion per year from 2013 to 2020.

Mr. President, here in Doha, we must take necessary decisions for the full operationalization of the Green Climate Fund, including pledges to capitalize the GCF and take necessary steps to initiate arrangements between the GCF and the COP that will ensure effective accountability of the Fund to the COP.

We must also ensure the full implementation of the recommendations of the Co-Chairs of the Long Term Finance work programme without delay. It is also important to take the stock of the lessons learnt from the Fast Start Finance process between 2010 and 2012 to ensure the effectiveness of the next financing regime under the Convention.

Mr. President, we call for Parties to finalise all outstanding issues including the functioning of the technology mechanism in order to enable the technology mechanism to be fully operational from early 2013.

We must also establish and enhance the linkage and synergy between the Adaptation Committee, TEC, LEG, GCF Board and the standing committee.

Mr. President, under the ADP, we must prepare a roadmap and a timeline from 2013 to 2015 and identify clear milestones for the ADP to ensure it finalizes its work on time without delay. We must prepare a 2013 work plan for the both work streams – post 2020 regime and pre 2020 ambition – leading to a COP decision in Doha.

We urge Parties to listen to the most vulnerable and poorest nations of the world. We particularly hope that the leadership of the Developed Country Parties under this process will continue. We also hope that the year with a monster storm and scorching heat waves, as well as the re-elected leadership will lead the US to be more active and no longer a disinterested bystander in this process.

Mr. President, be assured of our continued support for successful outcomes in Doha.

I thank you Mr. President.

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