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Expectations of the Least Developed Countries at UN climate negotiations

Date: 29 November 2019

MADRID, SPAIN, 29 November 2019 – Negotiators and ministers from around the world will meet in Madrid next week for COP25 to advance the global response to climate change.

None are more aware of the urgency with which this crisis must be tackled than those living in the Least Developed Countries (LDCs). “Our people are suffering and will increasingly suffer. Communities are being devastated, yet emissions continue to rise. It cannot go on. Countries must urgently scale up their climate action and the level of support they provide to developing countries,” said Sonam P. Wangdi, Chair of the LDC Group.

COP25 represents the last international moment before countries are due to submit their enhanced Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) for the first Paris Agreement implementation cycle. Mr Wangdi said, “The Least Developed Countries call on countries to submit new or updated NDCs with ambitious emissions reductions plans and commitments that reflect their fair share of the global effort. We are also calling for COP25 to reflect this in a formal decision, solidifying 2020 as the year of increased ambition.”

Key priorities for the LDC Group at COP25 include finalising robust rules for the emissions trading scheme being developed, which are consistent with limiting global temperature rise to 1.5°C and the achievement of the other Paris Agreement goals. Mr. Wangdi said, “There is no room in the carbon budget for a market mechanism that does not lead to real and significant reductions in global greenhouse gas emissions. We need robust rules and transparent accounting measures to ensure environmental integrity of the trading system, or we risk undermining the Paris Agreement entirely.”

Madrid will also host a review of the Warsaw International Mechanism on Loss and Damage (WIM). “To date the WIM has not been effective in supporting and addressing loss and damage caused by climate change,” Mr Wangdi said.  “Our countries are particularly vulnerable to climate impacts that cause loss and damage. We need support in addressing these impacts – loss of lives, destruction of infrastructure, wiping out of crops, displacement – to protect our communities and people from further suffering. The WIM must enhance action and support to address loss and damage in developing countries.”


The LDC Group is made up of the 47 Least Developed countries, which disproportionately suffer from the ever-increasing impacts of climate change despite contributing the least to global warming. Representing over one billion people throughout Africa, Asia-Pacific and the Caribbean, the group negotiates as a bloc in the UN climate negotiations to secure a fair and ambitious global response to climate change.

From 2-13 December 2019, the United Nations climate change negotiations will convene in Madrid, Spain, for the 25th Conference of the Parties to the UNFCCC (‘COP25’). The Least Developed Countries Group has already met for preparatory meetings from 25-26 November to consolidate positions and strategise ahead of the upcoming negotiations.

For more information on issues that are a key priority for the LDC Group at COP25, please see the LDC Group’s media background note.

Sonam P. Wangdi, from the Kingdom of Bhutan, is the Chair of the LDC Group for 2019 and 2020. He will be available for interview throughout COP25. Contact ldcchair.media@gmail.com

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