Press release: LDCs call for accelerated progress on new climate agreement

Geneva, 8 February 2015: Less than two months following the Lima Conference, UN climate negotiators are gearing up for a fresh round of talks on a new agreement to be adopted at the end of this year. With the deadline fast approaching, the 48 members of the Least Developed Countries (LDC) Group call for revitalising political momentum and doubling efforts early in the year to ensure that a fair and ambitious outcome is reached at this December’s conference in Paris.

The recently appointed Chair of the LDC Group, Mr. Giza Gaspar-Martins, Director of the Climate Change Department at the Ministry of Environment of Angola said: “Angola is honoured to represent the Least Developed Countries Group during this critical year. Our Group’s engagement in the climate negotiations has been at its strongest in particular in the last few years. As the new Chair, I want to make sure this legacy is maintained. My team and I stand ready to engage constructively and proactively with other Parties [to the UN Climate Convention], and make LDC perspectives heard in all aspects of the discussions.”

Mr. Gaspar-Martins added: “Last December’s talks in Lima were very tough and compromises had to be made. We negotiated for 36 hours straight, after the scheduled closing of the Conference. However, what is important is that Parties did work together and reach consensus on the way forward in the end.”

Mr. El Hadji Mbaye Diagne of Senegal, stated: “It may still seem early in the year but in fact, the time left to complete this work is dangerously running out. According to UN rules, the draft negotiating text must be on table before May 2015 for such an agreement to be adopted in December.”

Dr. Ian Fry, Ambassador for Climate Change and Environment from Tuvalu and lead LDC negotiator, said: “The task at hand now is to ensure we do not lose track of the timelines we have set for ourselves and guarantee we have a comprehensive Protocol to adopt in Paris. This means making a lot of progress on the core elements we want to see in this Protocol here in Geneva.”

“Committing to significant cuts in greenhouse gas emissions, as well as to scaling up these commitments periodically to ensure we limit long term global average temperature increase to below 1.5°C is critical. However, we also want the agreement to reflect legal parity between the mitigation and adaptation aspects of the global response to climate change, and the issue of loss and damage associated with climate change impacts fully incorporated,” Dr. Fry highlighted.

The body in charge of developing the 2015 Agreement (known as the ADP), appointed two new co-chairs in Lima: Mr. Ahmed Djoghlaf of Algeria and Mr. Daniel Reifsnyder of the US.

Mr. Gaspar-Martins stated: “The Group is confident that the new co-chairs will put their best efforts forward and lead Parties to a successful conclusion in Paris. We have full trust that discussions this year will continue to proceed in an open and inclusive manner.”

For further comment please contact: ldcchairangola@gmail.com

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