Least developed countries ministerial communiqué on climate change

Date: 17 October 2018

Least Developed Countries Ministerial Communiqué on Climate Change Urges Adoption of Paris Guidelines Towards Rapid Climate Action and Support

Addis Ababa — From 15-16 October 2018, Ministers and Heads of Delegation from the Least Developed Countries (LDC) group met at the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa’s offices in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia to discuss the priorities of the LDC group in preparation for the international climate negotiations in Katowice, Poland in December 2018.

Mr. Gebru Jember Endalew, Chair of the LDC Group, said Ministers had engaged in productive discussions around key issues in the negotiations and LDC initiatives and had summarised their priorities in an LDC Ministerial Communiqué on Climate Change: “Ministers from across the world’s 47 least developed countries expressed their dedication to climate action and to collaboration to achieve our shared goals to lift our people out of poverty and achieve low-carbon, climate-resilient sustainable development.”

“Ministers emphasised their grave concern at the increasingly severe climate impacts already experienced by LDCs at the current level of warming, and highlighted the disproportionately higher future risks for LDCs, as evidenced in the IPCC Special Report on the impacts of global warming of 1.5°C.”

“It is clear that to address the climate challenge immediate action is required to implement transformative change across societies. Ministers emphasised the need for the rapid deployment of proven, real climate solutions such as scaling up renewable energy, eradicating energy waste, managing the rapid decline of fossil fuels, and protecting and expanding forests, soils and natural systems. Ministers also recognised that any possibility of future technological solutions cannot excuse delaying action.”

A key issue discussed at the meeting was climate finance. Mr. Endalew commented: “Ministers stressed that the ambitious climate plans LDCs have put forward cannot be achieved without predictable, accessible, adequate and sustained financial, capacity building and technological support from developed countries and international partners.”

On the upcoming climate negotiations in Katowice, Mr. Endalew said: “The LDCs look forward to the adoption of a comprehensive, robust and effective set of guidelines at COP24 that will enable full and ambitious implementation of the Paris Agreement. It will be particularly important that the guidelines facilitate action to address loss and damage and to adapt to climate change.”

“The LDCs look forward to a formal political declaration and COP decision on the Talanoa Dialogue at COP24, sending a strong political call for fair and ambitious climate action.”

“In Paris the world laid down a blueprint, and now in Katowice we must finalise the structure that will bring the spirit and vision of the Paris Agreement to life – achieving the 1.5°C temperature goal and protecting communities across the world from the devastating impacts of climate change.”

Addis-Ababa LDC Ministerial Communiqué on Climate Change 2018

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We, the Ministers and Heads of Delegation of the Least Developed Country Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC),having met in Addis-Ababa, Ethiopia, on 15 October 2018 in preparation for the 24th Session of the Conference of the Parties to the UNFCCC in December 2018 (COP24):

Affirm that the global response to climate change must be fair and equitable to advance the interests and aspirations of poor and vulnerable countries and peoples;

Note, with grave concern, the slow progress in increasing global mitigation action and ambition given that current Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) and policies put the world on track for warming of more than 3°C by the end of the century;

Welcome, with appreciation, the publication on 8 October 2018 of the ‘Special Report on the impacts of global warming of 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels and related global greenhouse gas emission pathways, in the context of strengthening the global response to the threat of climate change, sustainable development, and efforts to eradicate poverty’  (1.5°C Report) by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which sends a strong signal that climate action must be urgently ramped up to avoid further catastrophic warming;

Emphasise, with grave concern, that the 1.5°C Report stresses that regions at disproportionately higher risk include the least developed countries (LDCs);

Further emphasisethe devastating and increasing climate change impacts already being experienced by LDCs at around 1°C of warming, including droughts, floods, sea level rise, melting of glaciers, biodiversity loss, impacts on mountain ecosystems and economies, and slowed economic growth;

Note, with particular concern, thatthe findings of the 1.5°C Report highlight the stark differences between warming at 1.5°C compared to 2°C, with 1.5°C of warming resulting in a reduction of climate-related risks to health, livelihood, food security, water supply, human security and economic growth, significantly reducing future costs associated with climate impacts;

Further note, with grave concern, the findings of the 1.5°C Report that highlight there are limits to adaptation and adaptive capacity for human and natural systems at global warming of 1.5°C, with associated losses, and that impacts may be long-lasting or irreversible; and call for increased action and support to address current and anticipated loss and damage in line with the priorities and needs identified by developing countries;

Emphasise the need to address climate impacts on agriculture, noting the vulnerability of the sector as well as its importance in improving food security, ending hunger and protecting and enhancing livelihoods in LDCs;

Recall the Paris Agreement which notes Parties should, when taking action to address climate change, respect, promote and consider their respective obligations on human rights, the right to health, the rights of indigenous peoples, local communities, migrants, children, persons with disabilities and people in vulnerable situations and the right to development, as well as gender equality, empowerment of women and intergenerational equity;

Note, with optimism and hope, that a safer and more prosperous future for all is possible with immediate action to implement transformative change across societies, and that the 1.5°C Report shows that limiting warming to 1.5°C remains feasible and can contribute to sustainable development, eradication of poverty and reduction of inequality, with the most ambitious scenario of the report requiring an urgent peaking of emissions, a steep decline thereafter and reaching net zero emissions around mid-century;

Emphasise the need for rapid, far-reaching and unprecedented changes in all aspects of society, with rapid deployment of proven climate solutions and tools that are available right now; concrete actions like investing in and scaling up renewable energy, eradicating energy waste, managing the rapid decline of fossil fuels, protecting and expanding forests, soils and natural systems, and other real climate solutions must be implemented,recognising that any possibility of future technological solutions cannot excuse delaying action;

Callupon all Parties to agree on a political declaration and a COP decision on the Talanoa Dialogue at COP24 that sends a strong political message to strengthen the global response to climate change, upholding the spirit and vision of the Paris Agreement to achieve its long-term goals;

Further call upon all Parties to use the political momentum created by the 1.5°C Report and the Talanoa Dialogue to ramp up ambition on action and support to put the world on a 1.5°C pathway and reflect this in the submission of new and enhanced NDCs by 2020 consistent with their responsibility for climate change and capacity to respond, in order to close the emissions gap and avoid further devastating climate change impacts;

Welcome the convening of the Climate Summit by the UN Secretary General in September 2019 and encourage Parties to use this Summit as a critical opportunity to further enhance global ambition in reducing emissions and strengthening resilience;

Urge all Parties to remain committed to completing and adopting comprehensive, robust and effective implementation guidelines at COP24 in Katowice, Poland, which will enable full and ambitious implementation of the Paris Agreement;

Emphasise the need for these guidelines to particularly address adaptation and loss and damage, which are crucial components of the Paris Agreement for LDCs, on the same level as mitigation;

Note, with serious concern,thattrillions of dollars in climate finance are required to implement the NDCs of developing countries, and there is a significant gap that exists between this requirement and current funding; without such funding, LDCs risk being left behind in the transition to a zero-carbon future, further exacerbating existing inequality and poverty;

Emphasise that, as LDCs, we face the unique and unprecedented challenge of lifting our people out of poverty and achieving low-carbon, climate-resilient sustainable development; and that this requires global solidarity and support from the international community for the achievement of our ambitious climate plans and protecting our people from the adverse impacts of climate change;

Urgeall developed country Parties and international partners to support LDCs in implementing their NDCs, national climate change policies, measures and strategies, considering the specialneeds and circumstances of LDCs, and by fulfilling their commitments to provide predictable, accessible, adequate and sustained financial, capacity building and technological support;

Call on all developed country Parties and international partners to provide support to LDCs for adaptation planning processes, including National Adaptation Plans, and the implementation of their actions;

Note, with grave concern,the Least Developed Countries Fund (LDCF) is critically under-resourced and call for urgent contributions to the Fund;

Further note, with serious concern, that some developed countries are not materialising their pledges in line with the agreed goal to mobilise 100 billion USD annually by 2020, including under the Green Climate Fund (GCF), and call upon them to fulfill their commitments;

Call upon the Board of the GCF to initiate the replenishment process at its 21st meeting and finalise the process in an expedited manner so that there will be no funding gaps to support current and future projects and programmes;

Stress the need for facilitating access to climate finance by further streamlining and simplifying the application, approval and disbursement processes of the GCF and the Global Environment Facility;

Urge all international partners to provide support to LDCs in the spirit of the Istanbul Programme of Action for the Least Developed Countries as we strive to graduate out of the LDC category;

Call on all Parties to the Kyoto Protocol to urgently ratify the Doha Amendment to bring the Kyoto Protocol’s second commitment period into force;

Encourageall countries to ratify the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol;

Welcomethe long-term low greenhouse gas (GHG) emission development strategies communicated by some Parties; invite other Parties to do the same, asserting the expressed willingness of LDCs to prepare long-term low-carbon, climate-resilient development strategies; and emphasise the importance of aligning these efforts with the 1.5°C pathway called for in the Paris Agreement;

Recognise the vital importance of rapidly scaling up access to renewable energy and energy efficient technologies, to enhance the wellbeing of all citizens in LDCs and contribute to implementation of the Paris Agreement, Sustainable Development Goals, Istanbul Programme of Action and progress towards achieving these goals;

Welcomethe Framework of the LDC Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Initiative for Sustainable Development (LDC REEEI), including its institutional arrangements and call for the continuation of this work to operationalise and implement the Initiative as soon as possible with full support by the international community;

Welcome the LDC Initiative for Effective Adaptation and Resilient Development (LIFE-AR) and the LDC Universities Consortium on Climate Change (LUCCC) as presented by the Chair of the LDC Group, with a view to further advancing these initiatives at COP24 in Poland;

Thank the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia for their leadership and great hospitality and facilitation of this important LDC ministerial meeting.

Issued this 15 October 2018 in Addis-Ababa, Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia

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