LDC Group statement at opening of COP 21

Twenty-first session of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Convention on Climate Change (COP 21)

Eleventh session of the Conference of the Parties serving as the Meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol (CMP11)

Opening statement by Angola on behalf of the Least Developed Countries Group

1 December 2015, Paris, France

Mr. President, I have the honour to deliver this statement on behalf of the Group of 48 Least Developed Countries. The Group aligns itself with the statement delivered by South Africa on behalf of the Group of 77 and China, Sudan on behalf of the Africa Group, and the Maldives on behalf of the Alliance of Small Island States.

From the outset, allow me to express deep sympathy and concern over the terrible events of terrorism which occurred in this city just a few weeks ago. Our Group extends its sincere condolences and solidarity with the French people to the COP Presidency. I also extend our profound thanks to the French Government for making every effort to ensure the COP continued as planned in as safe and secure an environment as possible.

The Group congratulates you on your election as the President of the 21st session of the Conference of the Parties and 11th session of the Conference of the Parties serving as the Meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol. Allow me to also express our sincere thanks, through you, to the Government of France for the warm welcome and hospitality. We are also grateful to the secretariat for its hard work on ensuring excellent conference arrangements.

Mr. President, current efforts and plans to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions do not keep the world within the ‘safe’ temperature rise. For the LDCs, economic development, regional food security, ecosystems, and the very survival of their populations and livelihoods are at risk if talks aim only for a 2°C world.

We urge all Parties to be reminded that more than 100 of us believe the 2 degree target is inadequate and should be strengthened to below 1.5. Aiming for a 2 degree target is not a safe option for the majority of our countries, whose very survival is at stake. The LDCs were disappointed that Parties were unable to conclude on the consideration of the 2013-2015 Review in June. This is an extremely important item for LDCs and the ADP outcome, and we expect a strong conclusion to this discussion.

Mr. President, the Group welcomes funds totalling US $248 million, pledged yesterday into the only dedicated climate fund channelling money to adaptation projects for the world’s poorest nations: the Least Developed Countries Fund. We express our sincere thanks to our partners for their contributions. However, our deep concern over the lack of resources in the LDCF persists. The amount pledged – while an encouraging step forward in the negotiations – barely covers the outstanding urgent projects.

As Parties know, the LDCF has an immediate purpose of supporting LDCs in the implementation of urgent and immediate adaptation activities identified in our National Adaptation Programmes of Action (NAPAs) (NAPAs). The LDCF is also to support the formulation of National Adaptation Plans (NAP) for the medium- to long-term, but many LDCs have not been able to begin this due to the lack of funds in the LDCF so far. The implementation of other elements of the LDC work programme also depend on support channelled through the LDCF. Yet, resources contributed to the LDCF has only secured one fifth of the funding required for the full implementation of LDCs’ NAPAs. There are outstanding questions around how the LDCs will finance immediate and urgent adaptation between now and 2020, as well as secure the next phase of action by LDCs currently under discussion at COP21.

Mr. President, we request enhanced linkage and synergy between the Technology Executive Committee (TEC) and the Climate Technology Centre and Network (CTCN).

Mr. President, the LDCs constitute the group that least contributes to climate change and has the least capacity to adapt to its adverse impacts. The special needs and special situations is explicitly recognised in Article 4.9 of the Convention. Climate change can reverse the gains made by the LDCs in sustainable development and increasing climate resilience, and in this regard, we request the UNFCCC system to continue to support those LDCs that are in the process of smooth transition.

Mr. President, the work of the ADP is at its final and most critical stage. The Paris agreement is to set in motion a new paradigm for development in our countries. For the LDCs, success in Paris will require maximum participation and ownership from Parties to a legally binding agreement with concrete commitments implement the obligations within the Agreement. We also strongly urge all Parties to ratify the Doha amendment to the Kyoto Protocol without further delay.

Before I close, Mr. President, allow me to express the Group’s full support to the COP presidency in its work during this milestone COP. We reiterate the importance the Group places on transparency and inclusiveness in all aspects of this process, until the very end. As you are aware, the small delegations of LDCs are a challenge for the Group to have its voice adequately heard, and we therefore respectfully urge you to be mindful about this limitation for the duration of your presidency. We will not support discussions in the form of huddles at any point in the negotiations.

Thank you.

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