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Statement from the Chair of the LDC Group on the UN Climate Action Summit

Date: 26 September 2019

Reflecting on the UN Climate Action Summit in New York, the Chair of the LDC Group, Sonam P. Wangdi, released this statement:

“The Least Developed Countries Group came to the UN Climate Action Summit in New York with high expectations and bold commitments.

Behind the glitter and the hundreds of announcements made, we know the emissions reductions pledges on the table are far below what is required. Science tells us that limiting global warming to 1.5°C will require rapid, far-reaching and unprecedented changes in all aspects of society. Countries must make transformational improvements to the targets and related elements of their Natioanlly Determined Contributions (NDCs) by 2020 so that we are on a pathway to limit warming to 1.5°C, and thus avoid the most severe climate change impacts. We only have 10 years to get onto a 1.5°C pathway.

If science doesn’t guide and unite us into action, history will judge us.

LDCs are standing on the right side of history. We came to the Summit to demonstrate real leadership, and 16 of us presented plans to increase the ambition of our NDCs and advance implementation. In addition, we also presented our 2050 Vision for a climate resilient future. Under this vision, we aim to:

– Break down silos and work with local communities, government, the private sector, civil society and academia to tackle climate change
– Ensure that 70% of funds to tackle climate change supports action at the local level by 2030.
– Make integrated plans for adaptation, mitigation and resilience to climate change at the local and national level
– Strengthen local and national knowledge about climate change, and the capabilities and institutions to deal with it
– Ensure climate decisions are transparent, participatory and centred on gender and social justice.

Our goal is to achieve a historic shift towards a more effective and more ambitious global response to climate change that ensures support reaches vulnerable communities and countries, with no one left behind.

We will leverage our LDC-owned and driven initiatives – LDC Initiative for Effective Adaptation and Resilience (LIFE-AR); LDC Initiative for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency for Sustainable Development (LDC REEEI); LDC Universities Consortium on Climate Change (LUCCC) – to deliver on this Vision. Business as usual is not working for us, and we will be charting our own journey, in line with our needs and priorities.

While the Climate Action Summit has generated much needed political momentum and awareness, major emitters in particular are lagging behind in doing what is right for our planet and future generations. The legacy of this summit needs to rapidly translate into more ambitious NDCs and climate action, and should be continued under the UNFCCC process, and reflected in decisions at COP25 in Santiago.

We thank those countries that came forward to support the LDC cause: Ireland, Austria, Finland, Germany, Norway and the UK for their support for LIFE-AR; and Germany, Sweden, the Netherlands, Luxembourg and Canada for the LDC Fund. We also thank countries who pledged contributions to the Adaptation Fund and those who have confirmed to double or increase their contribution to the Green Climate Fund. We also welcome and appreciate Qatar’s and Luxembourg’s pledges of support to help LDCs and SIDS deal with climate change.

We know that the future does not belong to us. It belongs to our children and grandchildren. Like LDCs, young people share our precarious future but have contributed the least to cause this crisis. We stand in solidarity with the young generation, which is emerging as a bold agent of change to protect our future. We are quickly approaching COP25 and 2020, which is the deadline we cannot miss to deliver what the world needs to stay within the safer 1.5°C temperature limit.”

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