As G20 leaders prepare to meet in Hamburg, Germany from Friday, July 7 to Saturday, July 8 2017, the Least Developed Countries (LDC) Group has called on heads of state and government to reaffirm their commitments to tackling climate change by committing to ambitious climate action and support for the most vulnerable countries.
The theme of Germany’s G20 presidency is “Shaping an Interconnected World”, which the LDC believes is extremely relevant to the issue of climate change: a truly global problem requiring a global, collaborative solution.
In a statement issued on Thursday, July 6, 2017, Mr. Gebru Jember Endalew, Chair of the LDC Group, called on the G20 to:
Commit to scaling up climate finance and support
The LDC group represents the 48 poorest countries in the world. LDCs bear negligible responsibility for the greenhouse gas emissions that are causing climate change but are some of the most vulnerable to its impacts, with a limited capacity to adapt to those impacts or address the resulting loss and damage.
Climate change is a reality that we are already witnessing the impacts of. However, there is no doubt that leadership and ambitious climate action by the world’s largest economies can deliver prosperity, productivity and stability for all. The Hamburg G20 Summit is an opportunity for G20 countries to demonstrate their leadership in meeting the commitments set out in the Paris Agreement. As the leaders of some of the wealthiest countries, G20 countries also have the greatest capacity to support vulnerable countries in taking action to adapt to and mitigate climate change.
Develop a comprehensive Joint Action Plan
The Paris Agreement manifests global momentum to tackle the greatest challenge humanity has faced and the Hamburg summit provides an opportunity for G20 countries to rally around this momentous agreement. The LDC Group urges the G20 to reaffirm their Paris Agreement commitments through an ambitious G20 Joint Action Plan on Climate and Energy for Growth. We hope that this action plan will be the most comprehensive to-do list on climate action that the G20 has agreed to date.
Ensure ambitious climate action with a focus on clean energy
The LDC Group urges G20 countries to adopt sustainable and renewable energy solutions to achieve the goals of the Paris Agreement. Coal, including ‘clean coal’ cannot be considered a legitimate source of energy for mitigation action, or counted as part of climate finance support to developing countries.
Access to energy is vital to boost social welfare and productivity in developing nations. The last decade has demonstrated that renewables more than any other source of energy provide fast, efficient and cheap access to energy for many across the world. LDCs are already pursuing sustainable development through renewable energy projects, including a bottom-up, LDC-driven Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Initiative for Sustainable Development (REEEI). Support for these efforts and scaling up universal access to affordable, clean, renewable energy is vital to address poverty eradication, climate change, sustainable development objectives and the Sustainable Development Goals. We also encourage G20 countries to protect our collective clean energy efforts by pursuing energy options that affirm the ‘clean and sustainable’ nature of access to energy both in developed and developing countries.
Join the transition to a clean, green economy
After a strong, positive signal at the G7 summit, we call on G20 countries to rally around defending, implementing and advancing the Paris Agreement, despite the US announcing its intention to withdraw. It is clear that transformations in technology, consumption patterns and demand for clean, sustainable, green innovations are charging ahead around the world. Embracing these opportunities and joining the transition to a green economy means business opportunities that are beneficial for all. Some of the world’s leading businesses and sub-national governments, even within the US, have already recognised this and have begun to take strong actions on climate.
His words: “The LDCs reaffirm our commitment to the Paris Agreement. We are already leading the way through ambitious NDCs capturing mitigation and adaptation action beyond our fair shares, and the LDC-owned and -driven REEEI designed to meet our sustainable development objectives. We invite the G20 to join us and work alongside us as we pave the way for the sustainable economy of tomorrow.”