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Least developed countries group responds to new report finding ambitious action by G20 countries could limit warming to 1.7°C

Date: 16 September 2021

Thimphu, Bhutan (16 September 2021) – A new report released today by World Resources Institute and Climate Analytics finds that if the G20 – a group accounting for ~75% of global greenhouse gas emissions and 80% of global GDP – were to align their NDCs with a 1.5°C pathway, global warming could be limited to 1.7°C.

Responding to the findings, Mr Sonam P Wangdi, Chair of the Least Developed Countries (LDC) Group in climate negotiations, said:

“G20 countries must take the lead in quickly cutting emissions to mitigate climate change. These are the countries with the greatest capacity and responsibility, and it’s well past time they step up and treat this crisis like a crisis.”

“This report makes it very clear that whether or not we achieve our shared goal of limiting warming to 1.5°C depends on the actions or inactions of the world’s richest nations.”

“Current commitments from the G20 are far from enough to meet the Paris Agreement goals and to safeguard our planet and all its people. We must see more ambition from the G20. We expect the G20 countries to strengthen their NDCs with much greater emissions reductions targets by COP26 in Glasgow.”

“Together, the people living in the least developed countries are the least responsible, yet the worst impacted by climate change. The lives and livelihoods of hundreds of millions are at serious risk. The actions the G20 take now will largely determine the future of our communities, and for some, their very existence.”

“Limited temperature increase to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels is critical. To do that, global emissions need to halve by 2030. This relies on the G20 urgently making deep cuts in their emissions and providing adequate climate finance to support poorer countries to do the same.”


Key findings of the new report ‘Closing the gap: The impact of G20 climate commitments on limiting global temperature rise to 1.5°C’ include: 

  • Current climate commitments by G20 government still leave a very wide 2030 emissions gap
  • If all G20 countries strengthened their 2030 NDCs along a 1.5°C compatible domestic emissions pathway and committed to reach net zero by mid-century, with a faster timeline for developed countries than for developing countries, global temperature rise by 2100 could be limited to 1.7°C.
  • International cooperation is needed. To achieve full decarbonisation on the timeline necessary for 1.5°C compatibility, many developing countries will need financial support to deliver the necessary pace of emissions reductions. This will require an adequate provision of international finance and support from those countries with the greatest responsibility and capacity for addressing climate change to those that need it.

The LDC Group is made up of the 46 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.

Mr Sonam P. Wangdi, from the Royal Government of Bhutan, is the current Chair of the LDC Group, and was selected as one of the 100 most influential people in climate policy by apolitical.  

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