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LDC Group statement at joint opening of COP26, CMP, CMA, SBSTA and SBI

Date: 31 October 2021

Chairs, Co-Chairs, Distinguished Delegates and Colleagues,

  1. I have the honour to make this statement on behalf of the 46 Least Developed Countries. Though our thoughts and prayers remain with those who have suffered terrible losses from the COVID-19 pandemic – a crisis adding to the losses caused by climate change – we are glad to be meeting here in Glasgow.
  2. I would like to commend the Presidency for their work to convene us during these unprecedented times. Bringing the world together during a global pandemic speaks to the seriousness of the climate crisis and the importance of the work we must do before we leave the United Kingdom.
  3. I would also like to commend the Secretariat for their efforts to facilitate continued dialogue during this pandemic, when meeting in-person was not possible.
  4. The LDC Group remains committed to advancing our work. On 11 October, the Royal Government of Bhutan convened LDC Ministers meeting virtually to adopt the Thimphu Call for Ambition and Action. Raising ambition and furthering action and support is paramount to our survival. Our Ministers reiterated the LDC Group’s commitment to and expectations for enhanced climate action, sending us to COP26 with renewed political guidance.
  5. We have come to Glasgow in full knowledge of the climate crisis. It is not just future generations at risk. Already homes are being lost to sea level rise in the Pacific. Climate change-induced famine is taking lives in Madagascar. And extreme floods in Nepal and millions displaced in Bangladesh. All this is happening in a world which is about 1.1°C warmer than pre-industrial period. We have seen some of the strongest economies in the world struggle to cope to these brutal impacts. There can be no question of how much worse the consequences are for countries with weaker economies, low resilience and adaptive capacities.
  6. The IPCC Sixth Assessment Report once again has given a stark warning, that unless we do a rapid climate action in curbing emission, we will achieve 1.5°C somewhere between 15-20 years from now. Deep and sustained emission reductions are urgently needed to meet the commitment made in Paris. Even if current NDCs are fully implemented, emissions will rise to 15.9 per cent from 2010 levels by 2030, which is far from the 45 percent reduction needed to limit warming to 1.5 degrees.
  7. Over the next two days, leaders must make enhanced commitments that strengthen 2030 emissions reduction targets to be consistent with 1.5°C and reflect each country’s fair share of the global effort. Countries must also come forward with long-term, low emissions development strategies that map the path to net zero global emissions by 2050. Developed countries must provide confidence in mobilization of finance to the most vulnerable countries.
  8. Words alone are not enough. Leaders must back their pledges with plans and policies that lead to real action and real emissions reductions that phases out fossil fuels and accelerate a just transition to the clean energy future we need. We cannot leave Glasgow without strong commitments that will ensure the survival of the billion people living in the LDCs, now and in the future.
  9. Finance remains key for LDCs. Now it is not about figure but rebuilding trust. As delivering the ‘$100 billion per year by 2020’ commitment is critical, we note the ‘climate finance delivery plan’ published by the UK Presidency. However, the plan indicates that the commitment will not be fulfilled before 2023 which is troubling. This decade long delay in delivering the goal is disappointing, given the urgency of the climate crisis. Additionally, the amount of finance, access, adequacy, and quality of funding are critical issues that require space in these negotiations.
  10. Beginning the negotiations for a post-2025 climate finance goal is a key opportunity for Parties to pave the way to a successful COP26 outcome. We must agree on a structured process for negotiations that support reaching agreement on the new goal by 2024. The new goal must reflect the actual needs of developing countries and be based on scientific analysis. We reiterate that it is critical for grants to supercede loans and have finance that is dedicated to adaptation.
  11. Adaptation remains a top priority for our group, so we hope to see good progress on adaptation agenda items. The LDC Group looks forward to a space where parties can reflect their views on global goal for adaptation. We are concerned about the limited time for consideration of the three reports of the Adaptation Committee. However, we are happy with the progress made in previous sessions on the matters related to LDCs.
  12. Making progress on ensuring support to address loss and damage will be critical in Glasgow. Years of inadequate action on climate change means it is no longer possible to mitigate and adapt to wholly avoid losses and damages. Finance to address loss and damage is urgently needed. At COP26, we call for a decision to operationalise the Santiago Network on Loss and Damage, that provides a process for establishing its structure and functions to enable the network to fulfil its mandate effectively. On the governance of the Warsaw International Mechanism for Loss and Damage, we reiterate that both the COP and the CMA continue to independently have authority to govern the WIM. This issue must be finalized at COP26.
  13. At COP26, we must work constructively to finalize the remaining elements of the Paris Rulebook. The decisions we take must secure transparency, safeguard environmental integrity, deliver more ambition rather than undermine it, and increase the flow of funds and capacity for implementing climate actions in our countries.
  14. On Article 6, it is imperative that the mechanisms we deliver in Glasgow will not undermine progress towards the goals of the Paris Agreement, but rather lead to overall reductions in global emissions in this post-2020 era, as well as ensure a fair share of proceeds for adaptation actions. It will be critical that units are not double counted, that they are not carried over from the Kyoto Protocol, and that they have environmental integrity representing true reductions.
  15. We gave ourselves the task to finalise the Paris Rulebook at COP26 and we should work together tirelessly during the next two weeks to complete it on time. Though the LDC Group understands that the work on transparency is very technical, we believe that Parties have all the necessary elements to design the common formats and tables and agree on a decision on the Enhanced Transparency Framework. We look forward to the discussion on financial and technical support to developing countries to implement the ETF. We need to develop a reporting system that is not only transparent but is also implementable by less experienced counties, like the LDCs.
  16. We must also reach agreement on a common times frames for submission of NDCs that does not risk locking in low ambition, something we desperately cannot afford to do when we know that existing targets are still far from what is required by science.
  17. Turning to the negotiations ahead of us, the LDC Group looks forward to the second periodic review, particularly discussions related to the topics of biophysical impacts of temperature overshoot, remaining carbon budgets, as well as information on loss on damage attribution from seminal scientific publications. We also look forward to discussing the findings of IPCC’s sixth assessment Working Group 1 Report. In the informal meeting on Earth Information Day, the LDC group asked for the inclusion of the theme ‘Risk Assessments to Inform Adaptation and Loss and Damage’. We are happy that this has been included in the draft agenda.
  18. On technology development and transfer, we have a lot of work to do here in Glasgow. The LDCs look forward to considering the joint annual reports of the Technology Executive Committee (TEC) and Climate Technology Centre and Network (CTCN) for 2020 and 2021. For us, the Technology Mechanism and capacity building are critical to fulfilling the goals of the Convention and the Paris Agreement. We will actively participate in the important discussion on linkages between it and the Financial Mechanism, as well as those agenda items devoted to reviewing the work of the Technology Mechanism. It is only with a fully resourced and effective Technology Mechanism that the LDCs will be able to implement our climate plans. Furthermore, we wish to emphasize the need to prioritize implementation of the outcome of TNAs as the best approach of addressing climate technology needs of LDCs.
  19. Regarding gender and climate change, the LDC Group is glad to have a dedicated space on the agenda to discuss this important issue. We look forward to the in-session workshop that discusses the role of National Gender Focal Points and reviews the reports on gender composition. We also would like to see more efforts to integrate gender perspective in constituted body processes.
  20. We must also note that technical workshops as set out under KJWA have progressed well. What remains outstanding is how to implement the outcomes of the technical workshops and this can be achieved by establishing and institutionalizing the Koronivia Joint Work on Agriculture as a Constituted Body under the Convention
  21. On Capacity Building, the Group looks forward to full consideration of the 2020 and 2021 reports prepared by the PCCB to the COP and CMA including adoption of its recommendations that would contribute to greater coherence and coordination in the implementation of capacity-building initiatives in developing countries.
  22. Glasgow is our last and best chance to finalize the Paris Rulebook. The Paris Agreement stands ready for implementation. Our leaders are arriving to give us the highest level of political guidance.
  23. COP26 unites us after two years of unparalleled losses from the compounding crisis of COVID and climate change. Given all we have suffered, let us act as though, all our lives depend on the decisions we will make here over the next two weeks. And for the LDCs they do, as it is a matter of survival.

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