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COP17 position statement from the Least Developed Countries

Expectations of Durban: the Least Developed Countries (LDC’s) call on the international climate negotiations to deliver for the most vulnerable.

As delegates gather in Durban for the UN Conference of the Parties on a Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP17) the group of the 48 world’s most vulnerable countries are not alone in expressing deep concerns about the ability of the multilateral process to solve the climate crisis.

There were high expectations that the 2009 Copenhagen meeting would deliver an international agreement to define afuture climate regime.

Yet, two years later, the negotiations are still struggling to get agreement between the Parties, in anenvironment marked by multiple economic and financial crises.

The situation is getting worse: in the face of the growing extreme weather events in the developing world, we now hear from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) that the world’s scientists have “high confidence of increase of both maximum and minimum daily temperature on a global scale due to the increase of greenhouse gases” (from the Summary for Policy Makers of the Special Report on Managing the Risks of Extreme Events and Disasters to Advance Climate Change Adaptation (SREX) - released earlier this month).

Durban is crucial for the LDC’s in several respects: it must ensure that there will be no a legal break between the end of the first commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol at the end of 2012 and the second commitment period.

For LDCs, we need this meeting to take key decisions that protect the world’s most vulnerable and prevent the kind of socio-economic and human fracture that dangerous climate change would bring about. The costs would be too high for humanity to bear. Durban has to be part of the solution.

According to the LDC chair, Pa Ousman Jarju, Durban owes developing countries, particularly the least developed, an ambitious package of decisions that are both robust and innovative to come out of the current deadlocks.


The minimum package the LDCs expect from Durban must contain:

1. An agreement on a second - and subsequent - commitment periodsunder the Kyoto Protocol.

2. A clarification of the legal outcome of the process that began in Bali in 2007 under the Convention with a clear roadmap and key deliverables on adaptation and mitigation as well as their means of effective implementation: finance, technology and capacity building.

3. A decision on the operationalization of the Green Climate Fund, resolving the technical difficulties around the text proposed by the transitional committee that is tasked with setting up the governing instrument of the Green Climate Fund. The full operationalization of this Fund is fundamental to LDC’s and it should include commitments for the first capitalization of the Green Fund. Furthermore, discussions should result in the setting up of a work programmeon long term finance and the sources of funding to meet the pledges of financial support made in Copenhagen from 2013 to 2020 and reaffirmed in Cancun to mobilize resources for the most vulnerable.

4. Key decisions for the operationalization of institutions and processes begunin Cancun for adaptation and technology transfer.

5. Immediate decisions to increase funding for LDC’s for the urgent and immediate actionthey need to take to adapt to climate change. These promises were made ten years ago. In2001, the UNFCCC began the process of setting up National Adaptation Programmes of Actions(NAPAs)where the LDC’s identify and implement their “urgent and immediate”adaptation needs.

For LDCs, it is of utmost importance that this Durban meeting acts so that LDC’s can have access to the support they need for the full implementation of these programmes. The LDC’s have identified that, between the 48 member countries, a fund of $2.5 billion to 3 billion is required. This would set up a good basis for the new process established in Cancun to integrate adaptation in development planning. Durban should prove itself ambitious enough and current crises cannot be an excuse for delayed agreement.

LDC Media contact in Durban


Local number: +27 (0) 833 453 836

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