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COP22: Least developed nations seek fair, ambitious action

A group of nations deemed highly disadvantaged in respective countries’ development process has called for fair and ambitious action at the 22nd Session of the Conference of the Parties (COP22), which holds 7-18 November 2016 in Marrakech. The negotiations come after a year of growing international political momentum to address climate change, following the historic adoption of the Paris Agreement in December 2015.

Tosi Mpanu-Mpanu, Chair of the LDC group, which is calling for fair and ambitious action at COP22
Tosi Mpanu-Mpanu, Chair of the LDC group, which is calling for fair and ambitious action at COP22

The 48-nation group is operating under the umbrella body, the Least Developed Countries (LDC). Chair of LDC, Tosi Mpanu-Mpanu, says: “COP22 will be an action and implementation COP. As the world’s poorest countries, the LDC group calls for fair and ambitious action. We must build upon the foundations set in Paris to construct robust rules to support the Agreement’s implementation.”

Noting with concern that full implementation of current pledges by countries to cut greenhouse gas emissions puts the world on track for 3-3.5°C of warming above pre-industrial levels, Mr Mpanu-Mpanu notes, adding: “Science tells us that beyond temperature increases of 1.5°C the future of our planet stands on increasingly thin ice. It is imperative for communities across the world that countries take seriously their goal to pursue efforts to keep temperatures below 1.5°C. We cannot afford to treat this as an aspirational goal. An upwards spiralling of commitments to cut emissions that is both fair and proportionate to challenge rising before us is vital.”

LDCs plan to contribute to these global efforts through the LDC Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Initiative (REEEI) for Sustainable Development, among other ways.

He stresses: “The upcoming launch of the LDC REEEI in Marrakech demonstrates the continued commitment of the LDC group to real solutions that benefit real people on the ground. The Initiativewill enable LDCs to leapfrog fossil fuel based energy and generate prosperity by bringing modern, clean, resilient energy systems to millions of energy-starved people.”

LDCs are particularly vulnerable to climate change, with hazards including rising sea levels, extreme weather events, increased drought and floods and the spread of tropical diseases threatening health and food security. “As LDCs, we lack the resources and capacity to adequately protect our communities from the devastating impacts of climate change. In Marrakech we seek greater commitment from developed countries to provide financial support, technology and capacity building to enable LDCs to respond to the climate crisis,” says the LDC group chair.

The Marrakech meeting will see entry into force of the Paris Agreement on 4 November. He comments: “The first meeting of the CMA is an important springboard for the implementation of the Paris Agreement. We celebrate newfound global unity to act on climate change. But given the moment of entry into force has arrived earlier than anticipated we must also ensure countries yet to deposit their instruments of ratification are not left behind on the launchpad. We look forward to an inclusive and transparent process in Marrakech that allows all countries to participate as we approach this next hurdle.”

He underlines the necessity of pre-2020 action: “The impacts of climate change are already upon us. Pre-2020 action must be strengthened urgently to provide the thrust needed to propel our economies and policies towards effective, sustainable and ambitious actions.”

The LDC group has already convened in Marrakech for preparatory meetings from 1-2 November, to consolidate LDC positions and strategies ahead of the upcoming negotiations.

Currently, the 48 LDCs comprise around 880 million people, 12 per cent of the world population, which face severe structural impediments to growth. However, the LDCs account for less than 2 per cent of world GDP and around 1 per cent of world trade.

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