Emissions must be cut faster, and poor countries must be supported in addressing climate change, says Sonam P. Wangdi, the new Chair of the Least Developed Countries Group in UN climate change negotiations.
According to him, time is running out and the science is undeniable. He pointed out that unless drastic action is taken now, the world will heat up well beyond 1.5C, affecting hundreds of millions of people.
“Already at just 1C of warming we are seeing the devastating impacts of climate change; lives and livelihoods are being lost. There is only so much suffering we can take,” said Mr Wangdi, speaking at the 50th session of UN climate change negotiations in Bonn, Germany.
“We suffer the impacts of climate change first and the worst, although barely contributing to its cause.
“We need to see those responsible accelerate action on climate change and scale up finance provided to the poor and vulnerable so that we can adapt, address the loss and damage climate change continues to cause, and develop without depending on dirty fossil fuels.
“Why should children have to miss school to tell us that we need to urgently address this climate crisis? We know this is an emergency; now is the time for action.
“Although we didn’t create this problem, the Least Developed Countries have stepped up to be part of the solution.
“But we expect other countries with much greater capabilities and responsibilities, particularly developed countries, to take more leadership in responding to climate change,” he added.
The members of the Least Developed Countries Group include Mozambique and Malawi which were hit this year by unprecedented cyclones that killed more than 600 people and affected 2.6 million more. Around the same time, another member country, Nepal, was hit by its first tornado in recorded history.
The LDC Group is made up of the 47 poorest countries, which disproportionately suffer from the ever-increasing impacts of climate change, despite contributing the least to global warming. Representing almost one billion people throughout Africa, Asia-Pacific and the Caribbean, the group negotiates as a bloc in UN climate negotiations to secure fair and ambitious action on climate change.
From June 17 to 27 2019, the United Nations climate change negotiations are convening in the German city. The talks provide a key opportunity for countries to coordinate global efforts to tackle climate change.
Bhutan will Chair the LDC Group for 2019 and 2020. It is possibly the world’s only carbon negative country and has pledged to remain carbon neutral as it develops. Maintaining at least 60% forest cover is embedded within Bhutan’s Constitution.