“As we focus now to deal with immediate priorities of the coronavirus pandemic, we must not forget about the climate crisis that continues to threaten our people and has a longer-term impact,” says Chair of the world’s 47 Least Developed Countries (LDCs).
Responding to the news that the UN’s annual climate change conferences have been postponed, Mr Sonam P Wangdi from Bhutan, the Chair of the Least Developed Countries Group, said: “It is unfortunate that these meetings cannot take place as scheduled, but obviously the health and safety of our people is of highest priority, and postponing the meetings is critical to preventing the further spread of this virus.
“The pandemic is understandably the key focus for governments at the moment, but the need for climate action hasn’t lessened. Climate change will continue to threaten the lives and livelihoods of our people after the pandemic has ended. Deep and permanent reductions of global emissions are urgently needed. A postponed meeting should not mean postponed global action on climate change.
“Whether or not negotiators meet this year in person, there are clear commitments that countries still need to fulfil. We need to see all countries do their fair share and submit more ambitious Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) by the end of the year.
“Existing emissions reduction commitments in NDCs are far from enough to meet the Paris Agreement’s goal of limiting the global average temperature rise to 1.5°C by the end of century. Developed country Parties must also deliver on their commitment to jointly mobilising $100 billion per year by 2020 to address the needs of developing countries in tackling climate change.
“These are really difficult times for everyone. As the world responds to one crisis, we cannot let another crisis worsen. And as governments respond and make plans for recovery, there is a prime opportunity for ambitious climate change action to guide those recovery processes in order to see a zero carbon, sustainable and just transition to a safer future for all. The international solidarity demonstrated during this time has further shown the possibility of united global action to deal with the climate crisis.”