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Developing Countries Call for Greater Support to Respond to Climate Change

28 September 2010: As the UN General Assembly's (UNGA) annual high-level debate continued on 28 September 2010, developing countries representatives urged greater global support in responding to climate change.

A number of developing country representatives called on developed States to take urgent action to address climate change. The Bahamas indicated that, in collaboration with other small island developing States (SIDS), it called on the international community to undertake “urgent, ambitious and decisive” action to significantly reduce emissions of all greenhouse gases (GHG). With Myanmar, he stressed the need for financial resources and transfer of technologies to be provided to developing countries. Ghana said developing countries might soon experience "promise fatigue" and urged that US$30 billion be implemented for adaptation and mitigation efforts by 2012. He underlined that early delivery of the promised climate funds would boost developing nations' confidence in the dialogue. Burkina Faso, Cape Verde and Denmark also underlined the importance of fulfilling commitments on fast-start financing announced in Copenhagen. Tuvalu highlighted that access to such funds was difficult and time consuming for small island States to undertake in the timely manner required.

Numerous speakers referred to the ongoing climate change negotiations, with Pakistan, Mali, Burkina Faso and others calling for a fruitful outcome in Cancun in late 2010, at the 16th session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 16) to the UNFCCC. Malta, supported by Cambodia, Mauritius and Greece, recognized that the Copenhagen Accord represented a basis on which to build further in Cancun. Syria and Mauritius emphasized that the principle of common but differentiated responsibility should guide the negotiations. Tunisia stressed the need to accelerate the pace of international talks on climate change, while giving priority to human interest over economic benefits. Tuvalu called for three political commitments out of the Cancun meeting, namely agreement on: all amendments and rules for the Kyoto Protocol to avoid a gap between the commitment periods; a mandate for negotiations on a legally binding agreement based on all elements of the Bali Action Plan; and a set of decisions to provide interim steps in the implementation of measures to be incorporated into the legally binding agreement. Cape Verde noted a tendency towards pessimism rather than optimism in the ongoing climate negotiations. The United Arab Emirates hoped that UNFCCC States parties would achieve concrete results before the meeting in Cancun, and Greece announced the launch a Mediterranean Climate Change Initiative on 22 October, ahead of the Mexico meeting.

Malta, Myanmar, Burkina Faso, Guatemala, Sweden and Pakistan addressed the links between climate change and disasters, with Malta stating that 2010 “brought stark reminders of the devastation and loss of life that could be expected from climate change if it continued unabated.” Sweden further called on States to cooperate not only to work towards concrete climate goals, but also to prioritize disaster preparedness and risk reduction at the national level.

The vulnerability of developing countries to the impacts of climate change was mentioned by various speakers. The Bahamas and Cape Verde stressed the vulnerability of SIDS, highlighting the threat of sea-level rise. Mali mentioned desertification and droughts. [UN News Center Press Release] [UN Press Release] [UNGA's General Debate Website]