The LDC Group at COP 19: Expectations and Outcomes

The LDC Group actively participated in the 19th UNFCCC Conference of the Parties (COP 19), which took place during November 2013 in Warsaw, Poland. The outcomes of Warsaw, adopted in the negotiation’s final hours, include a set of 34 decisions. As the adopted decisions largely do not reflect the expectations of the Group, the LDCs call upon their fellow nations to continue work in the spirit of urgency.

Warsaw National Stadium

In his opening statement, the Chair of the LDC Group detailed four expectations for the package of decisions to be adopted at COP 19.

LDC Expectations for Warsaw

  • Decisions to address the finance gap by:
    1. Developing credible pathways for climate finance towards the $100 billion goal set for the year 2020, including clear arrangements to provide $60 billion by 2016 and 50% for adaptation
    2. Detailing a monitoring, reporting, and verification system (MRV) of the financial support provided
    3. Clarifying the scale, sources and share between public and private sources of finance
  • A decision mapping out a work plan to negotiate the new agreement with clear timelines and deliverables to complete the work of the Durban Platform for Enhanced Action (ADP) by 2015.
  • A decision mapping out a work plan with clear timelines and deliverables for raising pre-2020 mitigation ambition, with a view to ensuring the highest possible mitigation efforts by all Parties.
  • A decision establishing an international mechanism to address loss and damage.

As the negotiations progressed, it became clear that the expectations of the LDCs would not be met in the adopted decisions. Those decisions relating to the Group’s expectations are briefly summarized below.

Warsaw Outcomes

  • The decision on long-term climate finance established neither a mid-term target nor a clear pathway to achieving the $100 billion target by 2020. The adopted decision simply urges developed countries to maintain continuity in the mobilisation of climate finance at increasing levels.
  • The decision regarding the negotiation of the new agreement simply requests the ADP to further elaborate elements for a draft negotiating text. While the decision invites countries to initiate or intensify domestic preparations for their contributions to the 2015 agreement, it does not establish the clear timelines and deliverables the LDCs hoped for.
  • The decision for raising pre-2020 mitigation resolves to enhance ambition in order to ensure the highest possible mitigation efforts under the Convention by all Parties. In Warsaw, countries resolved to close the pre-2020 ambition gap by intensifying technical work and facilitating more frequent Ministerial engagement.
  • At the insistence of the LDC Group and other developing country groups, COP 19 did establish the Warsaw International Mechanism for Loss and Damage. This mechanism is to provide vulnerable developing countries with better protection against loss and damage, including extreme events and slow onset events such as rising sea levels. Though the mechanism currently sits under the Cancun Adaptation Framework, it is subject to review at COP 22.

While the Warsaw decisions were modest and did not meet the full expectations of the LDCs, the Group accepted a number of them in the spirit of compromise. Despite this, a number of decisions could pave the way for future work, including the decision establishing the mechanism on loss and damage and those that further the work of the ADP.

LDC Chair

At the closing session of COP 19, while expressing the Group’s disappointment on the decisions related to finance and the ADP, the LDC Chair called upon UNFCCC Parties to consider urgency as the central focus of their work going forward. The Chair emphasised that the urgency of addressing the climate change problem must guide all negotiations and build on the progress achieved so far.

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