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COP23: LDC ministers commit to ambitious climate action

Ministers and Heads of Delegation from the Least Developed Countries (LDC) group on Thursday, October 5, 2017 met in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia to discuss the priorities of the LDC group in preparation for the international climate negotiations scheduled for Bonn, Germany in November 2017.

Gebru Jember Endalew
Chair of the Least Developed Countries (LDC) Group, Gebru Jember Endalew

Chair of the LDC Group, Mr. Gebru Jember Endalew, described the meeting as “very successful”, with Ministers discussing all of the key issues of the negotiations and expressing their countries’ dedication to ambitious climate action.

He said: “Today, Ministers from across the world’s 47 poorest countries have demonstrated how LDCs are continuing to take the lead on ambitious climate action, pursuing sustainable, low carbon and climate resilient pathways to protect our people and our planet.

“It is clear that LDCs face unique and unprecedented challenges in working to lift our people out of poverty while achieving sustainable development. Ministers here in Addis Ababa have identified the need for global solidarity and the support of the international community to help LDCs achieve our ambitious climate plans. Ministers have also highlighted that the global response to climate change must be fair and equitable, with countries acting in a manner that is consistent with their responsibility for climate change and capacity to respond.

“Under the Paris Agreement the world has laid out a vision for achieving a greener, healthier and brighter future for all – the LDCs hope that the upcoming negotiations will generate finance and other support to ensure all countries of the world can make this vision a reality.”

According to him, the LDC group is fully committed to supporting Fiji – the first island nation to hold the presidency of the Conference of the Parties – to reach successful outcomes this November.

At the close of Addis Ababa meeting, delegates issued a Communique, as well as Key Messages for COP 23.


Addis-Ababa LDC Ministerial Communiqué on Climate Change

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 5 October 2017 in preparation for the 23rd Session of Conference of the Parties to the UNFCCC to be presided over by the Government of Fiji in November 2017 (COP23):

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 serious concern that the adverse impacts of climate change continue to worsen, as experienced through severe droughts and unprecedented rainfalls, storms and flooding around the world this year, particularly in Asia, Africa and the Caribbean, resulting in great loss of life and tens of billions of dollars in damage to economies and infrastructure;

Emphasise that scientific research increasingly attributes the occurrence of heat extremes, drought, flooding, sea level rise and other slow onset and extreme events to human-induced climate change;

Further emphasise that this decade and the last four years have been the hottest in recorded history as global temperatures continue to rise year-on-year;

Note with continued concern the large gap between the level of ambition needed to reach the long-term goal of pursuing efforts to limit warming to below 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels and the current low level of ambition that is projected to result in an increase of at least 2.8°C in global temperature by 2100, even with the full implementation of current emission reduction pledges and commitments;

Encouraged by the 170 Parties that have ratified the Paris Agreement and urge all countries that have not yet done so to ratify as soon as possible;

Appreciate the recent announcements by many countries of renewed political commitment to the Paris Agreement despite the challenging political context, and recognise the value of this leadership to the UNFCCC process;

Re-emphasise the need for higher climate ambition by all countries in a manner that is consistent with their responsibility for climate change and capacity to respond, in order to close the emissions gap to avoid further devastating climate change impacts;

Affirm our commitment to continue to lead on ambitious climate action in our countries; accelerating the transition to low carbon, climate resilient development to protect our citizens and sustain our economies;

Emphasise that as Least Developed Countries (LDCs) we face the unique and unprecedented challenge of lifting our people out of poverty while achieving sustainable development without relying on fossil fuels and therefore global solidarity and the support of the international community are critical for the achievement of our ambitious climate plans;

Further emphasise that for an equitable and effective global transition to a zero-carbon society, the LDCs must be supported to deliver and implement the ambitious climate commitments in our Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) and other climate plans;

Call on all Parties to the Paris Agreement to communicate new and updated NDCs before 2020 with a view to increasing their contributions and addressing the current ambition gap, and to be informed by the outputs of the facilitative dialogue to be convened in 2018;

Welcome the mid-century, long-term low greenhouse gas emission development strategies communicated by some Parties, and call on all Parties to do the same by 2020;

Commit to developing long-term climate strategies and call for developed countries and international partners to support this process;

Reiterate that adaptation and loss and damage are crucial components of the global response to climate change, especially for LDCs which are particularly vulnerable to the adverse impacts of climate change, and that there is a need to support developing countries in addressing current and future climate change impacts;

Stress that climate action enables the delivery of the full range of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and that coherent integration of NDCs and SDGs into national economic planning is a priority for all Parties;

Urge all developed country Parties to support LDCs in implementing their national climate change policies, measures and strategies, by fully implementing commitments relating to financial, capacity building and technological support;

Note with concern that trillions of dollars in climate finance is required to implement the NDCs of developing countries. Over USD 200 billion is needed only for LDC adaptation actions costed to date, recognising that some LDCs have only partially costed their needs or not costed them at all;

Further note with serious concern the limited resources available under the Least Developed Countries Fund (LDCF) for immediate climate adaptation actions and call for urgent contributions to the LDCF;

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

Further stress that a decision must be taken at COP23 to fully integrate the Adaptation Fund into the Paris Agreement architecture;

Express the readiness of all LDCs to formulate National Adaptation Plans (NAPs) by 2020;

Call on developed country Parties and all international partners to provide support to the LDCs to formulate NAPs and implement their actions;

Note with concern the lack of progress in phasing out fossil fuel subsidies, particularly in those countries that have pledged to eliminate them in the context of the global transition to net zero emissions by mid-century required to achieve the long-term temperature goal;

Further urge all international partners to provide support to LDCs in the spirit of the Istanbul Programme of Action for the Least Developed Countries to ensure all LDCs engage effectively in low emission and climate resilient development that will protect the lives of our populations, economies and systems;

Reassert the urgent need for technology development and transfer to enable developing countries, and in particular the LDCs, to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions and to adapt to the impacts of climate change;

Stress the need for capacity building to enhance knowledge and awareness, and enable the LDCs to implement climate change actions;

Further stress that the LDC Group fully supports the adoption of a robust gender action plan at COP23;

Recognise that the global uptake of renewable energy and energy efficient technology needs to happen more rapidly and that developing countries need greater financial and technical support to reap the benefits of these technologies in the context of low emission sustainable development;

Welcome progress on, andremain committed to taking forward the LDC Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Initiative for Sustainable Development and urge the global community to support the LDCs in implementing this Initiative;

Remain committed to collective effort to progress the negotiations on the work programme of the Paris Agreement and full and active engagement for achieving successful outcomes at COP23;

Remain committed to completing the work programme and the adoption of the rules of the Paris Agreement at the first session of the Conference of the Parties serving as the Meeting of the Parties to the Paris Agreement in 2018 as agreed at COP21;

Further 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;

Encourage all countries to ratify the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol;

Endorse the key messages of the LDC Group in the context of COP23, as contained in the annex to this communiqué;

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

Issued this 05 October 2017 in Addis-Ababa, Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia


Key messages of the LDC Group for COP 23



  • The urgency of action on climate change has never been clearer. The world has experienced devastating events exacerbated by climate change over the past year, creating irreversible loss and damage.
  • The 47 Least Developed Countries (LDCs) have contributed negligible emissions but feel the impacts of climate change acutely due to their low social and economic development and severe capacity constraints.
  • The full implementation of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, the Kyoto Protocol and the Paris Agreement by all Parties is vital to protect present and future generations in LDCs and across the world. This demands fair, equitable and ambitious action by all Parties that is proportionate to the scale of the challenge before us, including in the pre-2020 period.
  • The Paris Agreement was the culmination of a global effort and groundswell of momentum to effectively address climate change. Eighty-five percent of all countries have ratified the Paris Agreement and some LDCs have communicated ambitious climate plans beyond their fair share.
  • Any decision to withdraw from the Paris Agreement or decrease ambition in communicated climate action plans will severely damage the global solidarity achieved.
  • An effective global response to climate change is inextricably linked to achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as climate change creates new and additional costs that exacerbate existing development challenges. Achieving a low-emissions and resilient future can simultaneously lift vulnerable communities in LDCs and across the world out of poverty.



  • The current level of global ambition does not put us on a track to limit average global temperature rise to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels. Parties must commit to more ambitious emission reduction targets and urgently peak global emissions to close the mitigation gap and secure emission pathways consistent with limiting global temperature rise to below 1.5°C.
  • Parties should raise their ambition on action and support through revision of their Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) before 2020 in a manner that is consistent with their responsibility and capacity to respond.
  • Urgent emission reductions are vital to minimise adverse impacts on LDCs and vulnerable populations by reducing the future cost of for adaptation and minimising unavoidable loss and damage.
  • Accelerated financial, capacity building and technological support is urgently needed for developing countries, in particular for LDCs, to enhance mitigation action.
  • By the end of 23rd Session of Conference of the Parties, the process for the 2018 Facilitative Dialogue must be clearly laid out. The Facilitative Dialogue must provide collective guidance on the global effort needed to put the world on a pathway to below 1.5°C of temperature increase by informing the ambition of the Parties’ NDCs.
  • The use of internationally transferred mitigation outcomes must ensure environmental integrity, must relate to emissions reductions included in NDCs that are quantified and measured against an absolute baseline or baseline scenario and must be in line with accounting guidance developed under Article 4 of the Paris Agreement.



  • Adaptation must be addressed in a balanced manner with mitigation, with respect to both action and support and with a view to achieving the global goal on adaptation.
  • LDCs need further financial, technological and capacity building support in planning, developing and implementing their national adaptation plans and other adaptation actions.
  • The Adaptation Fund has been a strong pillar in promoting and generating experience towards concrete adaptation actions in developing countries and needs to be fully integrated into the Paris Agreement architecture.


Loss and damage

  • Loss and damage is a crucial component of the global response to climate change and an important part of the Paris Agreement.
  • The LDCs have limited financial, technological, human and institutional capacities to deal with loss and damage arising from the impacts of climate change.
  • Scaled up financial support for loss and damage is urgently required, including a permanent source of finance and delivery mechanism.
  • Loss and damage needs to be incorporated into all relevant processes under the Paris Agreement, including the enhanced transparency framework and the global stocktake.
  • The Warsaw International Mechanism on Loss and Damage must be enabled to address broader loss and damage issues.


Climate finance

  • Climate finance is key to the implementation of the Convention, Kyoto Protocol and the Paris Agreement. The Convention and the Paris Agreement clearly recognise the special circumstances and needs of the LDCs and this recognition must be adhered to in every delivery mechanism of the climate finance.
  • Developed countries must fully implement their commitment to mobilise USD 100 billion per year by 2020. Clear pathways to meeting the targets are missing and urgent scaling up of the funding is needed.
  • Accessible, adequate, predictable and sustainable climate finance for developing countries is essential and should be allocated between adaptation and mitigation in a balanced manner. This finance must also be new and additional to existing to Official Development Assistance, and should be filled primarily from public sources and be grant-based.
  • Funds such as the Green Climate Fund and the Global Environment Facility must simplify the application, approval and disbursement processes, particularly for LDCs.
  • The Least Developed Countries Fund is a dedicated source of funding for LDCs and needs to be adequately resourced. This fund remains severely under resourced.



  • Access to environmentally sound technology is indispensable to LDCs and other developing countries to enable emission reductions and adaptation to the impacts of climate change.
  • All LDCs must be supported to develop and implement technology related plans and strategies.
  • Increased funding that is earmarked for technology development and transfer is needed to access mitigation and adaptation technologies, and support innovation, the enhancement of endogenous technologies and collaborative approaches to research and development.
  • The Green Climate Fund and the Global Environment Facility need to elaborate simplified procedures to enable LDCs to access financial support for technology development and transfer and build the capacity of LDCs to access these funds.
  • The bureaucratic procedure of the Climate Technology Centre and Network in handling requests from Parties should be reviewed and simplified to enable quick responses.


Capacity building

  • It is important to address the significant capacity gaps in LDCs for the effective implementation of climate actions, including for the elaboration, update and implementation of NDCs, formulation and implementation of National Adaptation Plans, mobilisation of climate finance and means of implementation.
  • The establishment of the Paris Committee on Capacity Building was a milestone in addressing gaps and needs in implementing capacity-building and further enhancing capacity-building efforts in a holistic and coherent manner.



  • Gender is a cross-cutting issue that needs to be mainstreamed across all areas of climate change responses and actions.
  • The empowerment of women will significantly enhance the effectiveness of adaptation and mitigation efforts at all levels and advance the SDGs and broader development objectives.


Transparency of action and support

  • The enhanced transparency framework is the backbone of the Paris Agreement’s architecture for raising ambition over time.
  • The framework must build trust and confidence among Parties, promote effective implementation and provide reliable information to take stock of the implementation of the Paris Agreement.
  • The framework must provide an accurate and reliable picture of what each Party is doing to address climate change and its impacts through action and support.
  • Support is essential for enabling developing countries to meet their reporting obligations.
  • The framework should avoid placing undue reporting burdens on developing countries without compromising the reliability of the information or the integrity of the transparency system.


Global stocktake

  • The global stocktake is an important component of the Paris Agreement’s mechanism to scale up fair and ambitious actionthat is consistent with equity and the best available science.
  • The outcome of the global stocktake must lead to Parties taking the necessary actions to put the world on track to limit the increases in global average temperature to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels and address the adverse impacts of climate change.
  • To effectively take stock of implementation of the Paris Agreement, the global stocktake must be holistic – reviewing all elements of the Agreement, including loss and damage.
  • Facilitating implementation and promoting compliance
  • The mechanism for facilitating implementation and promoting compliance have a vital role to play in ensuring the effectiveness of the Agreement and the implementation of efforts to address climate change under the Agreement.
  • The mechanism should ensure the integrity of the Paris Agreement by helping Parties to implement the Agreement while encouraging compliance with their obligations.

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