Deferred action puts unwelcome pressure on Chile climate conferenceDate: 28 June 2019
Bonn, Germany: Sweltering in European heatwaves, the world’s Least Developed Countries leave the 50th session of the Subsidiary Body of the UNFCCC with largely procedural outcomes, at a time when the urgency for climate action could not be clearer.
Divergent views on how to move forward with the IPCC’s Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5°C meant substantive outcomes could not be reached. Tenzin Wangmo, Lead negotiator for the Least Developed Countries (LDC) Group, said: “The science is undeniable. And the world’s poorest one billion people are living, breathing testament to its findings: already at just 1°C of warming, we are seeing and feeling the devastating impacts of climate change. For LDCS, questioning the science and negotiating 1.5 degree is negotiating on our survival. Let’s not negotiate on survival!.”
Important decisions were taken this session on loss and damage, a particularly important issue for the LDC Group. As Ms. Wangmo states, “While the LDCs are the most at risk to the dangerous impacts of climate change, our countries have the least capacity to address the severe loss and damage it continues to cause. International approaches for dealing with loss and damage must be strengthened and support must be provided to developing countries so it can be addressed.”
The Group’s Lead Coordinator on loss and damage, Mr. Adao Soares Barbosa, from Timor-Leste, added, “Countries worked together collaboratively in Bonn to develop a set of guidelines that will allow us to review progress on addressing loss and damage in Santiago.
“Climate change means more frequent and more unpredictable events like floods, droughts, storms and other natural disasters. COP25 in Santiago is our opportunity to set up a framework to better protect lives, property and the environment in our poorest and most vulnerable communities. It is vitally important that developed countries come to the table and cooperate as many lives depend upon it.”
Reflecting on what is happening outside of the negotiations and looking ahead to the UN Secretary General’s Climate Summit in September, Ms Wango said, “There’s plenty of talk but we urgently need to see accelerated climate action. Ambitious goals need to be backed up with plans and policies, and – most importantly – action that leads us towards 1.5°C pathways.”
“We hope to see countries come to the UNSG Summit in New York with concrete plans for climate action that are in line with their fair share and a 1.5 degree future. Countries must bring forward Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) that reflect the highest possible ambition. There is an urgent need for countries to drastically reduce emissions and to scale up levels of finance provided to developing countries.”
The Least Developed Countries Group is made up of the 47 poorest countries, which disproportionately suffer from the ever-increasing impacts of climate change, despite contributing the least to global warming. Representing almost one billion people throughout Africa, Asia-Pacific and the Caribbean, the group negotiates as a bloc in UN climate negotiations to secure fair and ambitious action on climate change.
The 50th session of the Subsidiary Bodies at the United Nations climate change negotiations took place in Bonn, Germany form 17 – 27 June 2019.
Bhutan is the Chair of the Least Developed Countries Group for 2019 and 2020. It is the world’s only carbon negative country and has pledged to remain carbon neutral. Maintaining at least 60% forest cover for all times to come is embedded within Bhutan’s Constitution.