Staff Reporter

Between, December 2 and 13, the United Nations climate change negotiations will convene in Madrid, Spain, for the 25th Conference of the Parties to the UNFCCC (‘COP25’). The Least Developed Countries (LDC) group met last month for preparatory meetings to consolidate positions and strategise ahead of the upcoming negotiations. 

Negotiators and ministers from around the world will meet to advance the global response to climate change. 

A press release from the LDC group stated that none are more aware of the urgency with which this crisis must be tackled than those living in the LDCs. 

The chairperson of the LDC group, Sonam P Wangdi said, “Our people are suffering and will increasingly suffer. Communities are being devastated, yet emissions continue to rise. It cannot go on. Countries must urgently scale up their climate action and the level of support they provide to developing countries.” He is also the secretary of the National Environment Commission. 

COP25 represents the last international moment before countries are due to submit their enhanced nationally determined contributions (NDCs) for the first Paris Agreement implementation cycle. Sonam P Wangdi said, “The LDCs call on countries to submit new or updated NDCs with ambitious emissions reductions plans and commitments that reflect their fair share of the global effort. We are also calling for COP25 to reflect this in a formal decision, solidifying 2020 as the year of increased ambition.”

Key priorities for the LDC Group at COP25 include finalising robust rules for the emissions trading scheme being developed, which are consistent with limiting global temperature rise to 1.5 degree celsius and the achievement of the other Paris Agreement goals. Sonam P Wangdi said, “There is no room in the carbon budget for a market mechanism that does not lead to real and significant reductions in global greenhouse gas emissions. We need robust rules and transparent accounting measures to ensure environmental integrity of the trading system, or we risk undermining the Paris Agreement entirely.”

Madrid will also host a review of the Warsaw International Mechanism on Loss and Damage (WIM). “To date the WIM has not been effective in supporting and addressing loss and damage caused by climate change,” Sonam P Wangdi said.  “Our countries are particularly vulnerable to climate impacts that cause loss and damage. We need support in addressing these impacts – loss of lives, destruction of infrastructure, wiping out of crops, displacement – to protect our communities and people from further suffering.” The LDC chairperson also called on WIM to enhance action and support to address loss and damage in developing countries.

The LDC group has 47 least developed countries as members, which disproportionately suffer from the ever-increasing impacts of climate change despite contributing the least to global warming. Representing over a billion people throughout Africa, Asia-Pacific and the Caribbean, the group negotiates as a bloc in the UN climate negotiations to secure a fair and ambitious global response to climate change.