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LDCs lay out climate summit strategy

Date: 25 November 2015

The Least Developed Countries (LDCs) Group is in Paris holding strategy meetings ahead of the UN climate change talks, where they met with the Minister of Foreign Affairs of France and COP21 President Mr. Laurent Fabius, to discuss priorities for the negotiations.

Chair of the LDCs Group, Mr Giza Gaspar-Martins of Angola said: “The LDCs expect nothing less than the strongest commitments to ambitious climate action from all Parties, contained within an internationally agreed legally binding treaty. This must be the outcome of COP-21. It is absolutely critical that we adopt a legally binding agreement in Paris. We will work hard to make sure that this happens.”

The LDC Group was crucial to establishing the negotiating body in charge of developing the new agreement – the Ad Hoc Working Group on the Durban Platform for Enhanced Action ADP1 – in 2011 at the Durban COP-17.

The LDCs, who have been increasingly seen as leaders are also the moral voice in the negotiations, as they set the standard for what they would like to see from the world with their own bold climate action plans. The Group wants to see this process through to a successful conclusion, with the adoption of an ambitious legally-binding agreement.

Among the key issues raised by the LDCs to the COP-21 presidency include:

  • The current plans to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions do not keep the world within the ‘safe’ temperature rise of 2°C. However, from a Least Developed Country perspective, it is far worse than that. For the LDCs, economic development, regional food security, ecosystems, and the very survival of their populations and livelihoods are at risk if talks aim only for a 2°C world. Countries must commit to a more ambitious long-term pathway to limit global average temperature increase to below 1.5°C by the end of the century.
  • The provisions and finance commitment for implementing adaptation actions need to be made clearer, with priority given to developing countries, who are far more reliant on public finance than emerging or middle income countries. The Least Developed Countries Fund (LDCF) currently stands empty, with 35 projects in the pipeline, waiting for approximately US $255 million worth of resources to be made available.

At the meeting, the Group also extended their sincere condolences and solidarity with the French people following the recent tragic attacks in Paris.

The Group added that they are encouraged by the positive, ambitious and open attitude conveyed by the COP-21 presidency, and the assurance that this will be a transparent, inclusive process, with strict time keeping.

The climate negotiations are notorious for running up to the wire, with discussions running into the night on the closing days as countries work hard to secure an agreement.

Giza concluded: “Transparency and inclusiveness must be the watchwords of these negotiations if we are to succeed in Paris. This agreement is not about one individual country. It is about the whole planet. It is about trust and building confidence among all the countries, business, cities and people.”


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  • 1. The Ad Hoc Working Group on the Durban Platform for Enhanced Action (ADP) is tasked with developing a protocol, another legal instrument or an agreed outcome with legal force under the Convention applicable to all Parties, which is to be completed no later than 2015 in order for it to be adopted at the twenty-first session of the Conference of the Parties (COP) and for it to come into effect and be implemented from 2020.
  • 2. UNFCCC synthesis of the INDCs:

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