News, 4 January 2016

What does the Paris Agreement mean for LDCs?

A new video draws on the expectations of the Least Developed Countries ahead of last month's climate deal and looks at what the Paris Agreement will mean for them.

What does the Paris Agreement on climate change mean for the world's Least Developed Countries (LDCs)? A new video commissioned by IIED's Least Developed Countries Independent Expert Group looks at the perspectives of individuals in the LDCs ahead of the talks and analyses what the Paris Agreement achieved.

Dr Saleemul Huq, a member of the LDC Independent Expert Group and a senior fellow in IIED's Climate Change Group, says that, from the LDC perspective, the agreement includes three major achievements.

The Paris Agreement recognises the importance of a 1.5 degree target for global temperature rise, it acknowledges the importance of increased funding for LDCs, particularly for adaptation, and it recognises the importance of loss and damage, which was a key issue for LDCs.

He says the agreement also crucially ensured that all countries will work together to tackle the problem of climate change, with rich countries accepting their responsibility for historic greenhouse gas emissions.

IIED's Independent Expert Group had commissioned interviews with leading experts in nine LDCs ahead of the talks to ask about the hopes and expectations.

Bangladeshi climate negotiator Qazi K Ahmad said Bangladesh was committed to being part of the global effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Tracy Kajumba, a civil society advocate from Uganda and representative for the Africa Climate Change Resilience Alliance, said adaptation was crucial for her country, where so many people depend on agriculture for their livelihoods.

The Prime Minister of Bhutan, Tshering Tobgay, said the legal nature of the agreement was crucial and that the 1.5 degree target was necessary as the Least Developed Countries cannot afford the adaptation measures required if global temperatures rise by 2 degrees.

Negash Teklu, director of civil society organisation Population, Health, Environment Ethiopia, said developed countries had a responsibility to provide support with finance and technologies to help the world's poorest countries develop low carbon economies.

Predictable climate finance is needed, and while some of this may come from the private sector, support for adaptation would also be needed from governments.

The historic agreement reached in Paris is the first global agreement to tackle climate change since the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change was originally agreed in 1992. It follows international agreement on the Sustainable Development Goals, reached at the UN summit in New York in September 2015.