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LDCs to “Take the Lead” on Climate Change

25 March 2013: Representatives from the Least Developed Countries (LDC) Group met from 22-23 March 2013, in Kathmandu, Nepal, to reflect on the outcome of the 18th session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 18) to the UNFCCC, in Doha, Qatar, as well as to define priorities, goals and a strategy for the challenges ahead.

Addressing LDC negotiators and experts, Prakash Mathema (Nepal), Chair of the LDC Group, stressed that every step should be towards the implementation of existing decisions and a more "inclusive, effective and equitable" global agreement in 2015 that better responds to LDC needs.

He highlighted LDCs' unique position in the climate negotiations due to the fact that they are among the most vulnerable and least responsible for climate change, but have already started adopting ambitious mitigation policies. Mathema further stressed that all but four LDCs have completed their adaptation plans and that most of them have started planning for low-carbon development pathways.

He stressed that LDCs have to take a leadership approach in mobilizing political will to avoid a 4º world with catastrophic climate change consequences for the LDCs. Mathema thus called on LDCs to become the "deal makers" and shape the agenda and the decisions, adding that "from now on, our aim is to take the lead and invite others to follow us.” He urged LDC representatives to adopt a new mantra and move from a "after you" mentality to "follow us."

In ensuring that the commitments made by developed countries are met, Mathema supported looking for an architecture that operates in an open manner and is governed by rules of transparency. He suggested, among other short- and medium-term strategies to achieve the group's objectives: building on the existing foundation; strengthening understanding and capacity to participate in the UNFCCC process; and strengthening the coordination of the group, networks and communication within and outside the negotiations. [LDC Group Press Release] [Remarks by the Chair of the LDC Group]