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Leading the Way: Raising Ambition for Climate Action

Date: 05 December 2019

Madrid, Spain: Small Island Developing States and Least Developed Countries today called on all governments to significantly improve their Paris Agreement emission reduction pledges by early 2020, and for a decision reflecting the urgency of the climate crisis to come out of the UN climate change negotiations in Madrid.

The Least Developed Countries (LDCs) and the Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS) represent those who have contributed the least to climate change, but who stand to suffer the most from its increasing impacts. The IPCC Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5°C has made clear what vulnerable countries have long known: deep reductions in global emissions are urgently needed to hold warming at a level that does not threaten their very survival.

Countries that AOSIS and the LDC Group represent are committed to ambitious climate action to protect their people and the planet, as demonstrated by examples showcased at an event in Madrid today.

Ethiopia and Jamaica shared their national experiences on work underway to revise their Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) and highlighted the opportunities for all countries to identify ways to increase ambition while delivering sustainable development benefits.

“Look at our countries – we are taking ambitious climate action despite our limited resources. Now we call on the COP25 President to send a loud and clear signal through a COP decision here in Madrid that solidifies 2020 as the year of increased ambition and a strong call for new and updated NDCs that represent the highest possible ambition and each countries’ fair share to be communicated by early next year,” said Sonam P Wangdi, Chair of the LDC Group

Our countries and our people are all too familiar with the consequences of inaction. We cannot let it continue. This is supposed to be the “ambition COP” – we cannot wait another year for ambitious climate action. It must start now,” said Ambassador Lois M Young, Chair of AOSIS,

“The SIDS and LDCs are once again leading the world on climate ambition by working towards new more ambitious NDCs next year and to reach net zero emissions by 2050. The UN will support them to achieve these goals, including through UNDP’s ‘Climate Promise’. It is critical that the big emitters now step up and similarly raise their ambition to address the climate emergency we are facing,” said Ambassador de Alba, the UN Secretary General’s Special Envoy for the Climate Action Summit, at the event.

Information about the hosts:

The Least Developed Countries (LDC) Group has a membership of 47 low-income countries across Africa, Asia and the Caribbean. These countries are confronted with severe structural impediments to sustainable development, have low levels of human assets and are highly vulnerable to economic and environmental shocks. The Group is chaired by Bhutan at the climate change negotiations.

The Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS) is a coalition of 44 small island and low-lying coastal developing states, including five observers. As a voice for the vulnerable, its mandate goes beyond amplifying marginalized voices, as it also advocates for these countries’ interests. The Group is currently chaired by Belize.

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