IIED Briefing Paper for COP19 Released

By Olivia Santiago

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The International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED) has partnered with the Climate and Development Lab to provide a concise document to be presented by the Least Developed Countries (LDCs) in the upcoming United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change’s Conference (UNFCCC) of the Parties (COP19). The briefing policy will be used by LDCs to advocate for more equitable and adequate access to finance to mitigate their vulnerability to climate change.

The paper highlights the worsening situation in LDCs to climate change. Although not responsible for the vast majority of climate-related issues, LDCs experience the impacts worst and first. LDCs suffered more than five times the global average of climate related disaster deaths from 2010 to July 2013. As climate disasters worsen and the intensity of sea level rise increases, the burden of responding to climate change should fall upon those most responsible for causing the problem and those most capable to address it.

Over ten years ago, the UNFCCC prioritized LDCs for support through National Adaptation Programs of Action (NAPAs) to improve these vulnerable countries’ adaptive capacity, or “the ability or potential of a system to respond successfully to climate variability and change” (definition taken directly from article). Working alongside the UNFCCC, forty-nine LDCs have created their NAPAs to identify “urgent and immediate needs” which have identified social, economic, and environmental vulnerability to climate stresses.

However, finance delivered from wealthy countries to enable the implementation of NAPAs has been inadequate, providing only US $4 billion of the estimated US$86-109 billion needed over the past three years. This lack of funding is further exacerbated because the funding from the wealthy nations is often diverted from other pressing development needs such as health and education. Unsurprisingly, climate finance, especially for adaptation, has been a top priority for the LDC Group in the UNFCCC negotiations. The group has made several submissions and interventions related to climate finance since the previous climate negotiations including: the full funding of NAPAs, provision of adequate and additional finance, ensuring predictable and sustainable funds, support adaptation, improving disbursement practices, and prioritizing the most vulnerable.

We hope the COP19 will provide the LDCs with the opportunity to make progress on some of these core issues and to continue pushing for the full funding for the NAPA program. The countries who are most impacted by climate change yet who have the least capacity to adapt need to be aided by those who are most responsible for the problem and the most capable of addressing it.

To download the full IIED Briefing Paper PDF, click here: http://pubs.iied.org/17181IIED.html 

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