As the 23rd round of climate change negotiations (COP23) kick off in Bonn, Germany, the chair of the Least Developed Countries (LDCs) has called on negotiators to prioritise funding and support towards implementation of the deal agreed upon in Paris in December 2015.
“COP 23 is an important opportunity to bridge the widening finance gap, (which is) a serious barrier to ambitious climate action worldwide,” said Gebru Jember Endalew, Chair of the Least Developed Countries (LDC) Group.
The Paris Agreement set a vision for an ambitious global response to climate change that will keep warming below 1.5°C, in a fair and equitable manner that promotes sustainable development.
“This COP is a vital step on our journey to setting out a clear rulebook that will fully implement the vision laid out at Paris,” he said, observing that COP 23 is the final round of negotiations before the work programme of the Paris Agreement is to be finalised. “We must (therefore) hope to leave Bonn with a draft negotiating text that can be fleshed out over the coming year.”
The United Nations climate change negotiations kicked off in Bonn on November 6 and will end in two weeks time. Hosted by Fiji, the negotiations are a key milestone towards finalisation of the rules that will govern implementation of the Paris Agreement.
The impacts of rising global temperatures continue to worsen. In the lead up to COP23, there was historic monsoon flooding, resulting in over a thousand lives lost and the displacement of over two million people in South Asia; the impact of consecutive seasons of drought in Africa; historic rainfall (with Hurricane Harvey setting a single-storm rainfall record in the United States, causing tens of billions of dollars in damage); and historic windspeeds laying waste to many Caribbean island territories (with Hurricane Irma recording the highest windspeed on record for the open Atlantic Ocean).
The catastrophic impacts of these extreme weather events, according to Endalew, underlie the urgency of substantive progress and action in Bonn.
“LDCs will be pushing to deliver a Paris rulebook that catalyses greater ambition to correct our current trajectory and put the world on track to keep warming below 1.5°C. This means robust frameworks for reporting, implementation and compliance, and gauging progress across all facets of the Paris Agreement and climate Convention,” said the LCD chair.
“As the 47 poorest countries in the world, the LDCs face the unique and unprecedented challenge of lifting our people out of poverty and achieving sustainable development without relying on fossil fuels,” he said.
Endalew observed that global solidarity and the support of the international community is essential for LDCs to achieve our ambitious climate plans, and protect the people from devastating impacts of climate change that are already taking their toll.
At COP23 the LDC Group is calling on developed countries to rapidly accelerate the delivery of climate finance, with a particular focus on public finance. Both the Least Developed Countries Fund and the Adaptation Fund need to be replenished continuously and as soon as possible.
Clear guidelines and adequate technological and capacity building support is also vital to enable the LDCs carry out actions to adapt to climate change and cope with losses and damages that threaten the survival of poor and vulnerable LDC communities.
Courtesy: PAMACC News Agency