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Experts, thematic coordinators and advisors from 47 least developed countries (LDCs) met in Thimphu yesterday to understand the challenges faced by LDCs, their priorities and refine group positions for  the upcoming Conference of Parties (COP25).

Reducing climate change impacts in LDCs

Choki Wangmo

Experts, thematic coordinators and advisors from 47 least developed countries (LDCs) met in Thimphu yesterday to understand the challenges faced by LDCs, their priorities and refine group positions for  the upcoming Conference of Parties (COP25).

COP25 will convene in Chile this December, where the participants would draft a communiqué for the LDC ministers, which would be endorsed and then negotiated during the conference.

“Among other agenda, success of COP25 will be defined by the decision on key themes—ambition, implementation of Article 6 of the Paris Agreement, review of the loss and damage mechanism, and climate finance,” the minister for agriculture and forest, Yeshey Penjor, said.

He requested the participants to be firm on the LDCs’ position.

Article 6 of the Paris Agreement aims to promote integrated, holistic and balanced approaches that will assist governments in implementing their nationally determined contributions towards fighting climate change. The mechanism, if properly implemented would make it easier to achieve emission reduction targets by creating a low-carbon economy through carbon trading.

In addition to being a driver for carbon pricing, the successful implementation of Article 6 could create new channels for climate finance and lead to technology transfer and capacity-building.

COP25 would see LCDs negotiating towards implementation of Article 6, thus gearing towards achieving climate goals and sustainable low-carbon future.

In COP25, LDCs would negotiate loss and damage mechanism that ensures strengthened international response to deal with irreversible damage caused by climate change, and financial support commitment by the rich countries to LDCs in addressing climate change.

The secretary of the National Environment Commission Secretariat (NECs), Sonam P Wangdi, who is serving as the chair of LDC group, said that to reduce emissions in low-income countries, developed countries were mandated to support LDCs financially through climate financing.

“Adequate financing is one of the keys towards effective implementation of climate action in LDCs, but there has not been enough support,” he said.

Although LDCs have least contributed to climate change, climate catastrophes have undermined the lives of people in these countries with devastating impact on food security and livelihoods. 

Reports have shown that low-income countries are vulnerable to climate change impact, such as glacier lakes outburst floods (GLOF), extreme weather events, sea-level rise, and increased storm surges.

Due to low capacities, vulnerable location and lack of funding, studies have shown that it will significantly hamper LDCs’ ability to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals on poverty, hunger, health, water, growth, infrastructure, cities, marine resources and ecosystems.

Sonam P Wangdi said that Bhutan’s economy is dependent on climate-sensitive sectors like hydropower and agriculture, which would affect the country’s ability to recover from climate stresses.

Paris Agreement adopted in 2015 by the representative countries at the COP21 in Paris, highlighted the LDCs special situations and needs with regard to funding and technology transfer.

The 47 countries within the LDCs group are defined by their gross national income (GNI) per capita, human resource weakness criterion, and economic vulnerability criterion, according to the United Nations.

However, LDCs group together emit less than one percent of global carbon dioxide emissions per year.

In the meanwhile, the government of UK, Norway, European Union and Germany funded the meeting.

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