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Ministers from the Least Developed Countries set expectations for COP28

Date: 05 October 2023

Thursday 5 October, Dakar, Senegal: Ministers from the world’s 46 Least Developed Countries met last week in Dakar to discuss priorities for COP28, and issued a joint “Dakar Declaration on Climate Change 2023”. 

Senegal’s Minister of Environment, H.E. Mr Alioune Ndoye said: “The climate crisis is getting worse every year at an alarming pace. The IPCC has warned of the increasingly serious and in many cases irreversible consequences of global warming.  

In this critical decade for climate action, humanity is at a crossroads. The possibilities of limiting warming to 1.5C in accordance with the Paris Agreement will be out of reach if global production and consumption patterns continue.  

But there is hope. COP28 is the opportunity to accelerate climate action towards 1.5C pathways, to meet the needs of the least developed countries.” 

The Dakar Declaration calls for urgent global emissions reductions, scaled up climate finance, a strong outcome operationalising the new fund for addressing loss and damage, and an ambitious Global Stocktake to close the gaps in global climate action. The full declaration can be read here in English or French.  

Ms. Madeleine Diouf Sarr, Chair of the LDC Group, said: “We are confronted with a harsh reality: the LDCs are home to over 14% of the world’s population but use only 1% of emissions, and yet we are the ones suffering the greatest costs of the climate crisis. The disproportionate impacts of the climate crisis on our people despite minimal responsibility underscores a stark injustice.”  

Speaking about the LDC Group’s priorities for COP28, Ms. Sarr said “A successful COP28 will require all countries coming together to commit to deep global emissions reductions, massively scale up renewable energy, and ensuring no one is left behind to address this crisis on their own. The Global Stocktake presents a critical moment to acknowledge how much still needs to be done, and we need to see commitment to close that gap through a powerful and detailed decision at COP28.”  

On loss and damage, she added: “Success at COP28 hinges on agreement of how the new loss and damage fund will operate and on securing early pledges from countries in Dubai. An empty loss and damage fund won’t do anything for our people when their livelihoods are dried up by drought, their schools and hospitals are washed away by floods or when the rising sea takes their homes.” 

A framework for the ‘Global Goal on Adaptation’ is set to be decided at COP28. Ms Sarr said: “COP28 must establish clear global targets as part of the Framework. Having such targets is vital in coordinating international actions and making adaptation a tangible reality, attainable to all countries and in particular our vulnerable nations.” 

On climate finance, Ms. Sarr said: “We are still waiting for delivery of the $100 billion per year promise of climate finance – critical for a global response to the climate crisis. The shortfall in delivery needs to be made up.

And as deliberations continue on the new goal for post 2025 climate finance, we must ensure that the goal set accurately reflects the needs of our countries to mitigate climate change, adapt to its impacts, and address the loss and damage it is increasingly causing. We also need assurance at COP28 that the commitment to double adaptation finance by 2025 will be delivered.”  

Background:  

Ministers, senior representatives and technical experts convened in Dakar, Senegal, on 28 September 2023 for the LDC Ministerial Meeting on Climate Change in preparation for the 28th meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP28) of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), which will take place in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in December. 

The Least Developed Countries Group is made up of 46 countries across Africa, the Asia-Pacific and the Caribbean, with a joint population of over one billion people. Incredibly vulnerable to environmental and economic shocks, and disproportionately affected by the climate crisis, our countries negotiate together as a bloc at UN climate talks to advance our shared interest of a fair and ambitious global response to climate change.   

Madeleine Diouf Sarr is the current Chair of the Least Developed Countries Group, and the Head of the Climate Change Division in Senegal’s Ministry of Environment, Sustainable Development and Ecological transition. 

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