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COP24: Poor nations arrive Poland with high hopes, dire needs

Ahead of the United Nations climate change negotiations (COP24) that holds from December 2 to 14, 2018 in Katowice, Poland, the Least Developed Countries Group came together in the Polish city for preparatory meetings from November 26 to 27 to consolidate positions and to strategise ahead of the upcoming talks.

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

Mr. Gebru Jember Endalew, Chair of the LDC Group, said: “It has been a long road to Katowice since the Paris Agreement was adopted in 2015, and there are still many hurdles to overcome to achieve a robust and fair set of guidelines to bring the Agreement to life. These guidelines need to push countries to immediately cut emissions to achieve the 1.5°C temperature goal and to deal with growing climate impacts. International cooperation is the only way to address the global threat of climate change.”

Referring to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) special report on the impacts of the global warming of 1.5°C, which was released in October 2018, Endalew noted, “The IPCC report made crystal clear that every bit of warming matters, especially for the LDCs. It also gave some hope by confirming that limiting global warming to 1.5°C is still possible. Here in Katowice, we must work constructively together to ensure that goal can become a reality.”

On the Talanoa Dialogue, he disclosed: “The LDC Group is calling for a political declaration and a COP decision on the Talanoa Dialogue at COP24 that pushes for real action at the scale needed. It is now more critical than ever that all countries commit to doing their fair share of cutting emissions and providing the tools and resources required to address climate change.”

On climate finance, a key issue for the LDC Group, Endalew emphasised: “The Paris Agreement cannot be implemented without finance for developing countries to take action. Trillions of dollars in climate finance is needed to cover the costs of adapting to climate change impacts, coping with loss and damage and pursuing clean development pathways to avoid emissions. In Katowice, countries need to agree clear rules to ensure adequate and predictable climate finance is provided. The longer poor countries have to wait, the larger the cost will become.”

He went further: “Together the LDC Group represents almost one billion people. These are the people who are the least responsible for climate change but among those most vulnerable to its effects. Almost one billion people will be counting on the LDC Group to deliver in Katowice, to ensure the protection of their lives and their livelihoods now and in the future.”

With the G20 Summit taking place in Buenos Aires, Argentina right before COP24 (November 30 to December 1), Endalew said: “Responsible for most global greenhouse gas emissions, the G20 countries must take the lead in the global response to climate change. At the upcoming summit, we expect G20 countries to demonstrate their commitment to the Paris Agreement and to taking the necessary action to limit warming to 1.5°C, including by moving forward with the Hamburg Climate and Energy Action Plan from last year.”

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