LDC group statement at opening plenary of COP 19

Opening Plenary of the Nineteenth Session of the Conference of Parties of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP 19)

Statement by Nepal on behalf of the Least Developed Countries Group

11 November 2013, Warsaw, Poland

Mr. President,

Nepal has the honour to deliver this statement on behalf of the Group of Least Developed Countries.

We associate ourselves with the statements made by Fiji 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.

I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate you on your assumption of the Presidency of the nineteenth Conference of the Parties and the ninth Conference of Parties serving as the Meeting of Parties of the Kyoto Protocol.

We would also like to express our congratulations to you, Mr President, and, through you, to the Government and people of Poland on your National Day, as well as our sincere appreciation and gratitude for the warm hospitality accorded in connection with the COP19 Conference. We also thank the Secretariat for their excellent arrangements.

Mr. President, we join you and all other speakers in extending our solidarity to the people of the Philippines and several other neighbouring countries at this moment of tragedy they are forced to endure during the super typhoon that caused immense loss of life and property. It is yet another painful eye-opener for us to work hard at this COP and afterwards. We must heed the emotional appeal of the delegation of the Philippines to do more, urgently and sincerely, now and hereafter.

Mr. President, we meet here in Warsaw shortly after the most alarming scientific findings of human history that were released by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change as eloquently presented by Dr Pachauri. We are now 95% certain that global temperatures are increasing, sea-level rise is accelerating, oceans are warming and acidifying, glaciers and Arctic sea ice are in decline and rainfall patterns are changing – all as a result of human-caused climate change. These changes also disrupt global weather patterns resulting in more intense, more frequent, less predictable and longer-lasting floods, cy­clones, and droughts.

Mr. President, the LDCs, which have contributed the least to causing climate change, are experiencing its impacts first and worst. From January 1980 to July 2013, the LDCs suffered 1.28 million deaths from climate-related disasters. And the situation is worsening. From January 2010 to July 2013 alone, deaths from climate-related disasters in LDCs rose to a staggering 67 per cent of the world total, more than five times the overall global per capita death rate due to climate-related disasters.

However, Mr. President, addressing the climate change problem is not in the interest of vulnerable countries alone. We are all being affected by climate change’s impacts. Climate change impacts affect global food and trade systems, push up prices, damage economies and market infrastructure, and worsen conflicts over natural resources.

Mr. President, recent scientific revelations through the IPCC Fifth Assessment Report, UNEP Gap Report of 2013, and the briefing on the three Salient Global Mitigation Pathways remind us that the 1.5°C goal is still technically and economically feasible – but the frontiers of possibility are closing faster. We need to act urgently. And, this action must start today, not tomorrow. The LDCs see this COP as a stepping-stone into this urgently needed action, as well as paving the way to Paris where the world expects to agree on a new agreement to deal with this urgency. Urgency also requires us to resolve all the unfinished business of the Bali Road Map this year.

Mr. President, we would like to present five suggestions to make COP 19 a long lasting legacy for Poland:

One: adopt a workplan with clear timelines and deliverables to reach the promised 100 billion USD a year through new, additional and predictable public finance for developing countries by 2020. Our Group calls for 60 billion USD to be delivered by 2015, and for a substantive amount of these funds to be channelled through the Green Climate Fund, the Adaptation Fund and the Least Developed Countries Fund. The rapid mobilisation of trillions of dollars to address the recent global financial crisis demonstrates that nations can mobilise significant resources to work together to achieve a common goal. We call for that same spirit for climate action.

Two: adopt workplans with clear timelines and deliverables for the ADP to ensure it finalizes its work on time and without delay. We must prepare workplans for both workstreams – the 2015 Agreement and pre-2020 ambition – leading to a COP decision here in Warsaw. Our work must be driven by the fact that we don’t have the luxury of time as we have effectively less than 80 weeks remaining to do so.

Three: establish the Warsaw International Mechanism to address loss and damage.

Four: provide further support to enable the preparations of National Adaptation Plans, the implementation of our National Adaptation Programmes of Actions and further address the issues related to LDCs. We have adopted guidelines for the formulation of NAPs but funds need to flow to enable the preparation of our NAPs. We thank the LEG for its excellent work on the Technical Guidelines for Formulation of NAPs and its continued support to the LDCs including for the NAPs process. We see a need for regular and continuous review on progress in the formulation of NAPs and their implementation, through the delivery of predictable, new and additional long-term finance. We also hope that this COP will give us assurances for implementation of all the other activities of the LDC work programme such as implementing our action plans for adaptation technology.

Five: make concrete recommendations to provide for long-term, adequate, predictable, transparent and equitably distributed financial resources for the REDD+ result-based actions including non-carbon benefits; to address drivers of deforestation and forest degradation; and to establish new institutional arrangements to improve coordination in REDD+ actions under the guidance of COP.

Mr. President, though enacting these five suggestions creates a lasting legacy for COP 19, there are numerous other issues that are also paramount to COP 19’s success. For example, we must establish and enhance the linkages and synergy between the Adaptation Committee, the TEC, the LEG, the GCF Board and the Standing Committee on Finance. Negotiations related to agriculture, the 2013-2015 review, and the Adaptation Fund Board must also move forward. Mr. President, we are confident that you will lead this process forward in an open, transparent and inclusive manner.

Finally, Mr. President, we congratulate you on your efforts to reach out to other actors such as businesses and cities during your consultations in preparation for this COP. We also hope that those businesses that have generously sponsored this COP will also think hard about their contributions to the climate change problem and take actions to reduce their emissions. After all, we must all act together to solve the climate change problem.

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

Thank you.

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