IIED welcomes Bhutan as new chair of the Least Developed Countries Group

Press release, 1 February 2019
On the announcement of Mr Sonam Phuntsho Wangdi, secretary of the National Environment Commission of the Kingdom of Bhutan as the new chair of the Least Developed Countries Group, IIED director Andrew Norton said:

“The appointment of Mr Sonam Phuntsho Wangdi as the new chair of the Least Developed Countries (LDC) negotiating group on climate change is a welcome step.

“Bhutan is a leader in the fight against climate change as one of the few countries that has achieved a net zero carbon footprint and is in a position to influence real change. As global temperatures rise, outstanding leadership of this kind is crucial. All countries must take the action needed to cut their carbon emissions and keep global temperature rise below 1.5°C in order to avoid catastrophic climate change.

“Bhutan is leading the LDC Group at a particularly urgent time when countries need to make strong commitments at the UN’s Climate Summit in September to increase their ambition in their Nationally Determined Contributions ahead of the Paris Agreement’s full implementation from 2020.

“The LDC Group has a critical role in leading efforts to tackle climate change and ensuring the devastating impacts that affect millions of women, children and men living in the poorest countries are heard at the highest levels.”

Media enquiries

For more information or to arrange an interview, please contact Beth Herzfeld, IIED head of media, on +44 (0)7557 658 482 or email beth.herzfeld@iied.org

Notes to editors

  • Sonam Phuntsho Wangdi of the Kingdom of Bhutan will chair the climate negotiating group for 2019/20. The least developed countries are 47 nations that are especially vulnerable to climate change but have done the least to cause the problem. They work together at the intergovernmental negotiations under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) to demand that wealthier nations act in accordance with their responsibility for creating the problem and their capability for addressing it.  
  • IIED’s global climate law, policy and governance team has advised the LDC Group since 2001, when the least developed countries formed a negotiating bloc under the UNFCCC.  
  • IIED is a policy and action research organisation. It promotes sustainable development to improve livelihoods and protect the environments on which these livelihoods are built. IIED specialises in linking local priorities to global challenges. Based in London, UK it works in Africa, Asia, Latin America, the Middle East and the Pacific, with some of the world’s most vulnerable people to strengthen their voice in the decision-making arenas that affect them – from village councils to international conventions.
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