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ACP wants 'legally binding' agreement at Paris climate conference

Wednesday, November 25, 2015



BRUSSELS, Belgium (CMC) -- The African Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) group says it wants a "legally binding agreement" to be adopted when the global community meets in Paris later this month for the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP 21).


ACP Secretary General Dr Patrick Gomes will be heading a delegation to the November 30 to December 11 conference and, according to a document released here, the ACP states that "the adverse impact of climate change remains the single greatest challenge to the sustainable livelihoods, security and well-being of our people.


"It poses immediate and long-term significant risks to sustainable development efforts and threatens the very survival of the 79 developing countries that make up the ACP group," the statement said.


The ACP said that adapting to climate change is therefore a high priority for all its members, "and especially those which are particularly vulnerable, including the small island developing states (SIDS), the less developed countries (LDCs)".


The document, which is being presented to the 102nd Session of the ACP Council of Ministers, notes that the fight against climate change must be tackled in an "urgent, cohesive and decisive manner at the international, regional and national levels, collectively by both developed and developing countries taking into consideration the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities".


"The Paris Agreement should be a legally binding agreement under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and shall be consistent with international law, including international human rights law," the ACP group said.


The ACP said that in preparation for the COP 21, it has hosted a number of meetings at the highest political level as well as at the level of the climate negotiators and non-government organisations.


The ACP said that climate finance is particularly important for the grouping "given the significant amount of financial, technical, technological and capacity-building support that is needed to enable all ACP countries... to adapt to the adverse effects of climate change.


"The 2015 Paris Agreement must ensure that funding to address climate change is scaled up, adequate, new and additional, predictable, equitable, sustainable, to support, inter alia, adaptation, loss and damage and mitigation, on a scale commensurate with the needs of ACP countries, especially those particularly vulnerable," the group stated.


The ACP said that for developing countries, particularly its member states, international public finance will remain "the major source of funding for climate change actions and can play a key role in leveraging and mobilising other sources of finance which can be complementary to public finance".


The ACP said it welcomes to date the US$10 billion mobilised for the Green Climate Fund, which was established as an operating entity of the Financial Mechanism of the Convention, to provide support to ACP countries to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions.


"The ACP Group stresses the need for developed parties to honour their commitments to support developing countries including mobilising US$100 billion in climate change finance per annum by 2020, as well as urge donors that have not yet done so, to conclude contribution agreements with the Green Climate Fund."