COP22: What’s in it for Least Developed Countries at the climate talks in Marrakesh?

ldcwatvh-logoLDC Watch statement, 9-11-16: “Finance is the key” to mitigate the effects of climate change on Least Developed Countries, and help them adapt to the threats it poses,” said LDC Watch, the umbrella group of civil society organisations in Least Developed Countries, at the start of the UN Meeting on Climate Change in Marrakesh.

Given that most of the 48 Least Developed Countries (LDCs) are near the Equator, they have been the first to suffer from climate change, with rising sea levels submerging the coastlines of Senegal and Bangladesh and increased frequency of storms and Hurricanes like that which devastated Haiti. Climate change is melting Himalayan glacial lakes, leading to flooding, and increasing desertification in Sub-Saharan Africa. This is where the money is most urgently needed.

Azed Girmai, LDC Watch’s climate lead, said: “New, adequate, sustainable and predictable funding is key if we are to effectively implement climate action in LDCs. While Paris agreed to set up the technology framework and the capacity building committee, there is not enough finance for what needs to be done. Adaptation and loss and damage are burning needs for LDCs but finance for these is far from secure”.

Least Developed Countries – the most vulnerable to climate change – IPCC

LDC Watch notes that the IPCC’s most recent Assessment Report (AR5) states that LDCs are systematically more vulnerable to climate change than the rest of the world. In addition, UNCTAD research states that “from January 2010 to July 2013 two-thirds of global human casualties associated with climate-related events occurred in the LDCs, although they have just over one-tenth of world population”.

Pre-2020 action and a greater ambition are vital if the world is to catch the window of opportunity to stick to the 1.5°C limit. We have just four years left – we have to see drastic emissions cuts between now and 2020 if we are to reverse the approaching crisis for LDCs. If not, we will be the first casualty of loss and damage. Rich countries must take responsibility to reduce their emissions if LDCs are to survive.

LDC Watch demands


  • Rich countries must take urgent action now to reduce their emissions before 2020, when the Paris Agreement kicks in.
  • Strengthen existing Warsaw International Mechanism on ‘Loss and Damage’, and provide greater financial support for LDCs.
  • Establish a clearing house for risk transfer and a task force for climate change displacement, and finance for adaptation.
  • The operation of the Financial Mechanisms, as mentioned in the Paris Agreement must have country ownership, and provide particular support for LDCs.
  • Establish and strengthen the national authorities’ ability to apply for direct access to GCF funding.

“We urge all international partners to provide full support to LDC countries, in keeping with the Istanbul Programme of Action’s objectives for LDCs. This will ensure they take the low-emission, and transformative pathway to protect our people and the ecosystem”, finished Gauri Pradhan, LDC Watch International Coordinator


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