BY EDMUND SMITH-ASANTE
The Chair of the Least Developed Countries (LDCs) group has warned at the ongoing informal additional sessions of the AWG-LCA, AWG-KP and ADP of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), that there is a big risk key issues could be lost that are vital to protect poor countries from the ravages of climate change, which they are already experiencing.
Even before the next round of climate negotiations began in Bangkok, Thailand, where a climate change conference is taking place, the LDCs group’s chair, Pa Ousman Jarju, of The Gambia urged; “We need massively increased finance for adaptation and for action to reduce emissions and we need to set up a proper international coordination process to deliver resources for adaptation to those in most need.”
“We cannot live with these issues being deferred until a new agreement is negotiated in 2015 and would not even come into effect in 2020,” he warned.
While acknowledging that the entire world is experiencing global warming induced drought, water and food shortages now, Jarju said; “The drought in the USA is costing insurance companies money, but the droughts in the LDCs are causing loss of life and livelihoods, malnutrition in our children and huge dislocation, which is very serious for our survival.”
Emphasising the need for a tremendous increase in finances to enable LDCs adapt and take action to reduce emissions, Pa Jarju listed the four major tasks the Durban meeting in December 2011 agreed on for countries to complete by the December 2012 conference in Doha.
These are, the adoption of a second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol, start of a new treaty negotiation, raising the level of ambition and concluding their [LDCs] long negotiations under the 2007 Bali Action Plan, which must deliver on finance and adaption.
Pa Ousman Jarju stated that “The Bali Action Plan is fundamental in protecting the interest of LDCs – right here and right now, and not in ten years’ time,” adding, “Our attitude towards it reflects our attitude towards any future agreement. Two years of dialogue followed by five years of negotiations with interim key decisions in Cancun and Durban cannot just be ignored as if they never happened.”
Further, he stressed that “It is extremely important that Governments agree to respect the commitments they have already made to provide finance, technology and capacity building to developing countries, and to enhance cooperation to help them adapt to the impacts of climate change and not to use the focus on a new processes to avoid past promises.”
“ We cannot indefinitely delay action, especially with regard to climate change, which is already upon us,” the LDC chair added.