Urgent action needed says leader of the Least Developed Countries Group

News, 4 June 2014
The Chair of the Least Developed Countries Group at the UN climate change negotiations said on 3 June that the latest science tells us that we can limit global temperature increases to a level that will save the poorest countries in the world. All that is required is the will to do it. But if we don't act urgently, the world's poorest will suffer.

A family in Dadaab gathers sticks and branches for firewood and to make a shelter, while carcasses of animals that have perished in the drought are strewn across the desert (Photo: Andy Hall/Oxfam via Wikipedia Commons)

Two new reports from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), released in the last three months, present alarming realities for the world's poorest. Extreme temperatures, rainfall and drought, increase in aridity, more intense tropical cyclones, rising sea levels, and ocean acidification are among other adverse effects of climate change. These effects will lead to declining crop yields, undernourishment, injury and ill-health, and a number of other socioeconomic and development challenges. 

The Chair of the LDC Group, Prakash Mathema, said: "It is still technically and economically feasible to limit temperature increases to below 1.5 degrees Celcius, but only if we all work together to resolve the climate change problem. If some countries advance their own interests and ignore the need for international cooperation, then we are doomed."

The LDC Group has arrived in Bonn, Germany to continue discussions at the UN on reaching a universal, legally-binding agreement on climate change. They are calling for urgent action to ensure that we reach a new legal agreement in Paris, December 2015. 

Mathema said: "Governments must make substantial progress in their talks in the period leading up to this date. We hope that we will have a negotiating text to discuss in the major climate change meeting later this year in Lima, Peru. This means that this June session of climate change talks is critical. We cannot be delayed by procedural discussions. We must put our heads together and start writing a new agreement.

"As a sign of our commitment to addressing climate change, the LDC Group is already choosing low-carbon and climate-resilient development pathways. We want to show that everyone has a role to play," added Mathema.

"We stand ready to engage proactively and progressively in the negotiations for a new agreement. We have demonstrated our leadership as the 'moral voice' in difficult negotiations. We sincerely hope that all nations will join us in this quest. Reaching a strong conclusion in Paris is crucial for us; it is about the very survival of our communities and future generations. If there is no progress, we stand to lose the most".

Watch a speech Mathema gave at the 8th international conference on community-based adaptation to climate change (CBA8), which was jointly hosted by IIED, in Nepal in late April.

Contact: ldcchairnepal@gmail.com



Teresa Corcoran
Press officer

International Institute for Environment and Development
80-86 Gray’s Inn Road
London WC1X 8NH, UK.
Tel: +44 (0)20 3463 7399
Fax: +44 (0)20 3514 9055

Email: teresa.corcoran@iied.org

Notes to editors

The International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED) is an independent, non-profit research institute. Set up in 1971 and based in London, IIED provides expertise and leadership in researching and achieving sustainable development (see: www.iied.org).

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