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LDCs in the Climate Negotiations



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Ambassador Sabihuddin Ahmed

Ambassador Sabihuddin Ahmed describes some of the challenges faced by the Least Developed Countries in the climate negotiations.

The author is the Bangladesh Ambassador in Sweden and was previously Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of the Environment and Forests in Bangladesh. He headed the Bangladeshi delegation to the Conference of the Parties of the climate treay in Milan, Italy, in 2003.

Climate change is of vital importance to Bangladesh and many other developing countries, including the Least Developed Countries (LDCs). Northern countries have polluted the most, but Southern countries are feeling the impacts of climate change.

The Prime Minister of Bangladesh is deeply concerned. She emphasizes that it is a question of Northern lifestyles being threatened, but Southern lives. Bangladesh and the LDCs face many problems in the climate negotiations. The Group of G77 and China is composed of many different interests and groups. It includes big developing country players and also the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC). The Association of Small Island States (AOSIS) is vocal, but more people live on river islands in Bangladesh than in all AOSIS countries combined.

Even with the Kyoto Protocol, global warming and climate change impacts will continue. We must, therefore, maintain pressure for mitigation measures and press the biggest polluters to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions. OPEC has linked the impact of burning fossil fuels and industry with the adaptation agenda. This makes progress slow. LDCs want to de-link these two issues.

We ask for adequate funds for the Special Climate Change Fund and the LDC Fund to help us meet adaptation needs. And we ask for capacity building and technology transfer for Clean Development Mechanism projects and adaptation measures.

The connection between climate change and poverty needs emphasizing, especially for LDCs. It can be hard to make our voices heard, but Bangladesh is quite vocal in the LDC Group. We have secured a special fund for drawing up National Adaptation Programmes of Action (NAPAs). We now need funding for projects identified in the NAPAs.

LDCs have limited resources. Finances are only available for one delegate per country to attend negotiations, but we need more delegates because sometimes several groups meet simultaneously. At the Ninth Conference of the Parties (COP9), we included civil society members, including university teachers and scientists, as delegation members to improve negotiating capacity. LDCs suffer language problems, as most meetings are in English.

Awareness at the policy level needs to increase. Institutional memory is also a problem and continuity gets lost. Attending only one or two meetings is not enough to understand the complexity of the process and build up a rapport with other delegates. LDCs could negotiate more forcefully if they could meet a few months ahead of every Conference of the Parties.


Further information
Ambassador Sabihuddin Ahmed, Embassy of Bangladesh, Anderstorpvägen 12, 1st. Floor, S-171 56 Solna, Stockholm, Sweden. Fax: +46-8-7305870. Email: doot@bangladeshembassy.se. Web: www.bangladoot.se.

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Tiempo Climate Newswatch
Updated: April 12th 2013