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LDC group statement at the opening of the CMP8

Date: 26 November 2012

Statement by the Gambia on behalf of the Least Developed Countries Group

Opening of the 8th session of the Conference of the Parties serving as the Meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol (CMP 8)

Doha, Qatar

Mr. President,

The Gambia has the honour to deliver this statement on behalf of the Least Developed Countries Group.

I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate you on your election as President of the eighth Conference of Parties serving as the Meeting of Parties of the Kyoto Protocol.

We are confident that you will lead this process in an open, transparent and inclusive manner. To this end, we confirm our full cooperation and commitment in reaching an agreed outcome in Doha.

We associate ourselves with the statements made by Algeria on behalf of the Group of 77 & China, Swaziland on behalf of the African Group, and Nauru on behalf of Alliance of Small Islands Developing States.

We would also like to express our appreciation and gratitude to the Government and people of Qatar for their warm hospitality, and thank the UNFCCC Secretariat for their excellent arrangements.

Mr. President, Decision I/CMP.1 established a process to consider “further commitments” of Annex I Parties for the period beyond 2012 in accordance with Art. 3.9 of the Kyoto Protocol.  We spent almost 7 years negotiating the second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol and now we have only 36 days left for it to begin on 1 January 2013. However, we are painfully aware that we are far from completing our work to agree on a second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol.

Mr. President, as we have repeatedly mentioned, an agreement on the successful continuation of the Kyoto Protocol into an internationally, I repeat, internationally legally binding five year second commitment period, with a single number QELRO and ability to apply provisionally from first January 2013 is a pre-condition for a successful outcome in Doha.

Mr. President, we are aware that the Kyoto Protocol, the only legal cornerstone of the international effort to address the global climate change problem, is on its chopping block. With the United States of America ever rejecting to come on board, Canada further derailing the process by pulling out of the Kyoto Protocol at the end of its first commitment period, Japan and New Zealand declining to take new obligations, and Russia not giving any concrete signal, our only hope is hanging on those who have committed to the second commitment period. However, we are not ready to write a blank cheque.

Mr. President, the pledges for emission reduction that are on the table are deeply inadequate. We must raise the ambition of the economy-wide emission reduction commitments with a single number QELRO without conditions for inclusion in an amended Annex B of the Kyoto Protocol.

Mr. President, a five year commitment period provides important flexibility, can take on board emerging science, reflect the rapidly falling cost of clean technologies, can bring forward new, more stringent commitments, and can remove surplus units trapped in the trading system.

Mr. President, we reiterate that provisional application will give us the maximum legal strength currently possible for this multilateral process.

We also reiterate that Parties interested in flexible mechanisms must commit to the second commitment period reflected in Annex B of the Kyoto Protocol. We cannot agree with those who are only interested in the fruits, while at the same time trying to destroy the tree.

Mr. President, a cap on carry-over of AAUs is needed to ensure environmental integrity and the use of a certain percentage of revenues resulting from such must be transferred to the Adaptation Fund. We also support calls for a share of the proceeds from Joint Implementation to be dedicated to adaptation.

Mr. President, standardised baselines were agreed to as a way to assist countries such as those in Africa and the LDCs to have access to more CDM projects. Consequently, Africa has been able to submit three projects, which is an indication that standardised baselines are working and producing outcomes in Africa. Hence, standardised baselines should be encouraged in Africa and the LDCs. CDM projects from our countries are found to have high transaction costs and these can be overcome by using one and the same DOE to perform both the validation and verification processes.

Mr. President, we reiterate that our highest priority in Doha is the Kyoto Protocol. Success or failure of the negotiations of the Kyoto Protocol’s second commitment period will decide the fate of the other negotiating streams including the ADP and its work plans.

Thank you.

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