Chhimi Dema  

The Least Developed Countries (LDC) Group will call for increased funds and urgent action from developed countries at the UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26) that will be held in Glasgow next month.

The group adopted the Thimphu Call for Ambition and Action on Climate Change during the ministerial meeting held yesterday in the capital that points to key priorities for the LDC group.

Bhutan has been the chair of the LDC Group since 2019, and the meeting is the last under Bhutan’s chairmanship.

Chief of LDC Group at the ministerial level and National Environment Commission, Dr Tandi Dorji, said that the pandemic has hit everyone around the globe but the one billion people living in the 46 LDCs are the worst hit, facing the quadruple crises of climate change, poverty, health, and economic challenges that are outpacing the disease itself.

He said: “Climate change, by contrast, has no vaccine and poses a threat that is exponentially larger and far less reversible, and ultimately existential, if we do not act now.”

Bhutan, leading the 46 countries for negotiation at COP26, would emphasise that climate change requires an urgent and immediate action that is both ambitious and equitable to support the interests of the poorest and most vulnerable countries and people.

The call for action and ambition states: “[LDC would] call upon parties, and in particular to the G20 countries to further enhance their NDCs in line with 1.5 degrees Celsius pathways and consistent with their responsibilities and capabilities to undertake climate action, in order to reduce the emissions gap to 1.5°C.”

Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC) embody efforts by each country to reduce national emissions and adapt to the impacts of climate change.

Bhutan submitted its second NDC in June 2021, setting much more ambitious targets and without changing the country’s carbon-neutral goal that it’s had since 2009, and has been achieving thus far.

However, the country has a shortage of funds to finance climate change-related activities.

LDCs urgently call for developed countries to deliver on the commitment of USD 100 billion per year to address the needs of developing countries.

They also emphasise the importance of addressing the impacts of climate change on agriculture and call upon parties to agree on a process to determine a new finance goal that matches the scale of climate finance needed to support climate action.

The chair of the LDC Group in climate negotiations, Sonam P Wangdi, said that the COP26 must prioritise the issue of loss and damage caused by climate change.

“Our people are suffering in a variety of ways as a result of a crisis that they did little to cause,” he said. “It is now time to discuss how the international community can fairly address the loss and the damage manifesting in developing countries because of climate change.”

Edited by Tshering Palden