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LDC Group Statement at the Joint closing session for COP23/CMP13/CMA1.2

Date: 17 November 2017

Joint closing session for COP23/CMP13/CMA1.2

Statement by the Democratic Republic of Ethiopia on behalf of the LDC Group

Greetings

Mr. COP President, Excellencies and Colleagues,

Ni Sa Bula Vinaka Saka,

  1. Ethiopia has the honour of making this statement on behalf of the Group of 47 least developed countries.

Context

Mr. President,

  1. Following a disaster-filled 2017 of record setting hurricanes, floods, drought and climate related economic and non-economic loss and damage, we all came into this COP with a renewed sense of urgency to take big steps forward to address climate change. We also came to COP23 with high expectations for a COP of action and support with substantive outcomes on a range of issues. Like we mentioned in our opening statement we simply did not have the luxury of settling for a transitional or procedural COP.
  2. The coming year will be crucial for a number of reasons. We will need to complete our work under the Paris Agreement work programme. We will also begin the Talanoa Dialogue process that must culminate in more ambition by all. And we will have a further understanding of what a 1.5 degrees warmer world will mean for all of us, and in particular for the poorest and most vulnerable.
  3. Global solidarity and support from the international community remains critical. We need a fair and equitable global response to advance the interests and aspirations of all countries and peoples.

Paris Agreement work programme

  1. One of our COP23 priorities was making significant progress in our work on the modalities, procedures and guidelines for operationalising and implementing the Paris Agreement.
  2. Although we have not shifted to textual negotiations as we and many other Parties had expected, we did make substantial progress on number of issues. We thank the APA Co-Chairs and the Chairs of the SBI and SBSTA and all the co-Facilitators for their hard work on the various elements of the Paris Agreement work programme.
  3. However, some issues did not progress very much or at all and this threatens progress under the work programme as a whole and jeopardises our ability to complete this work by our agreed deadline at the end of 2018.
  4. We must capture all progress in these negotiations in a way that allows us to build on what we have done coming into and at COP23. At our next session and any additional intercessional we absolutely must continue to build on this work. Resetting issues, back-tracking on issues or leaving any issues behind must be avoided at all costs.
  5. We look forward to the plan and approach to be proposed by the APA Co-Chairs for the crucial work of the next year. However, that plan must take us to textual proposals beginning at the next negotiating session.

Talanoa Dialogue

  1. We welcome the work of the Fijian Presidency on the design of the Talanoa Dialogue to be convened in 2018. We fully support the open, transparent and participatory approach you have outlined and look forward to participating in this process under your leadership over the next to build momentum leading into COP24.
  2. The overarching outcome of the Talanoa Dialogue must lead to an increase in ambition by all countries to put us on track to limit the global temperature increase to 1.5 degrees Celsius through strengthening our national contributions, managing a phase out of fossil fuels, promoting renewable energy and implementing the most ambitious climate action.

Loss and damage

  1. Irreversible loss and damage due to climate change is a matter of urgency for LDCs. The scale of loss and damage that we are experiencing is already beyond our capacity to respond or cope and it will only get worse, with more lives lost, more destruction to infrastructure and a bigger impact on our economies. We will not be able to raise our people out of poverty if we do not effectively address loss and damage and for that we need support.
  2. We recognise that Parties could not agree on introducing a standing agenda item under the subsidiary bodies on this issue, as developing countries have been calling for. However, going forward we must all recognise that addressing loss and damage requires not only better understanding of the issue but actual support for action to deal with it on the ground.
  3. We hope that the Suva Expert Dialogue that we did agree to hold will lay a strong foundation for further raising the profile of loss and damage and delivering concrete action and support for vulnerable developing countries to cope with it.

Climate finance

  1. We welcome Germany’s contribution of $50 million to the Adaptation Fund and $50 million to the Least Developed Countries Fund. Yet, in general we are deeply concerned that instead of being significantly scaled up, climate finance instead appears to be tapering downwards. Adequate, sustainable and predictable climate finance is absolutely essential to support developing country Parties in implementing their climate actions and priorities.
  2. Regarding the Adaptation Fund in particular, we welcome the report of the Adaptation Fund Board and the important decision taken here at COP23 that definitively sets the Adaptation Fund ready to be firmly integrated into the architecture of the Paris Agreement. With that decision taken we now have to elaborate the various aspects of how the Adaptation Fund will actually serve the Paris Agreement so that it remains an effective source of crucial adaptation funding for developing countries.
  3. Adequate, predictable and scaled-up financial resources are essential for developing countries to be able to take effective mitigation and adaptation actions. Developing countries also need reliable up-front information on support that will be provided in order to effectively plan climate actions. We look forward to continuing discussions on this issue under the SBI at our next session.
  4. LDCs also consistently face significant challenges in accessing urgently needed support. The bureaucratic and administrative processes and high fiduciary requirements of multilateral funds do not adequately take into account the capacity constraints of LDCs and present barriers to accessing vital support. These issues need to be addressed by streamlining and simplifying the application, approval and disbursement processes to move from conceptual to real access to support.

Gender and indigenous peoples

  1. The LDCs welcome the adoption of the Gender Action Plan and the Indigenous Peoples’ and Local Communities’ Platform at this COP. Amplifying marginalised and unheard voices and recognising the disproportionate impact of climate change on women and indigenous communities around the world is crucial for achieving global climate justice and for addressing the multi-faceted threat of climate change.
  2. We look forward to working with all stakeholders and further engaging on both of these issues.

Agriculture

  1. Agriculture is the backbone of our economies and is highly vulnerable to climate change. This vulnerability increases food insecurity which in turn compounds poverty and frustrates our efforts to eradicate it in our countries. Therefore, we are happy to see a significant step forward at COP23 on addressing agriculture-related issues after years of hard work on this issue. Our decision on agriculture presents a clear way forward and we are eager to continue fruitful discussions on implementing agriculture-related actions on the ground.

Conclusions

  1. Mr President, the Least Developed Countries thank you and your team on the proactive and inclusive approach you have taken during this historic first-ever small island COP.
  2. We also thank the government of Germany and the people of Bonn for their generosity and hospitality in hosting us over the past two weeks.
  3. Mr President, we have full faith in your able and wise leadership and we look forward to working with you and all Parties constructively over the coming year.

Vinaka vakalevu

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