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20 ministers of the LDC Group, country representatives, thematic coordinators, technical experts and other guests.
20 ministers of the LDC Group, country representatives, thematic coordinators, technical experts and other guests.

Norway Invited to the Opening Session of the High-level Ministerial Meeting for the LDC Group on Climate Change

The Least Developed Countries (LDC) Group on Climate Change convened its two days High-level Ministerial Meeting on 5th October 2017 at Capital Hotel, Addis Ababa. The meeting brought together 20 ministers of the LDC Group, country representatives, thematic coordinators, technical experts and other guests.

H.E. Andreas Gaarder, the Ambassador of Norway to Ethiopia, was invited to be a keynote speaker at the opening session of the LDC Group High-level Ministerial Meeting. H.E. Dr. Gemedo Dalle, Minister of the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change of Ethiopia, officially opened this ministerial session following the opening remarks from Mr. Gebru Jember, Chairperson of the LDC Group.

One of the aims of the meeting is to provide an opportunity for LDC ministers and technical negotiators to engage with one another, familiarise themselves with the issues and priorities of the upcoming 23rd Conference of the Parties and discuss group strategies. The meeting also aims to provide the ministers with information on the state of the negotiations and recommended LDC Group positions on key issues under relevant agenda items for their consideration and endorsement.

The 23rd Conference of the Parties will be held in Bonn, Germany from 6th–17th November 2017. While the adoption of the Paris Agreement was a key achievement of the 21st Conference of the Parties, held in Paris in 2015, the 23rd Conference of the Parties will aim to design and negotiate the detailed modalities, procedures and guidelines (MPGs) that will make the Paris Agreement operational. In his keynote address, H.E. Mr. Gaarder said, “The LDC Group’s constructive and progressive role in the climate negotiations is highly needed in a changing world.” He furthermore emphasized, “The Paris Agreement is built on the idea of progression over time and we will work tirelessly to see this realised. With the LDC Group as a powerful ally, we hope to succeed.”

The keynote speech by Ambassador Gaarder

"Thank you for your gracious invitation and for allowing Norway to be part of this opening session.

With the 23rd session of the Conference of the Parties on the horizon and scheduled to take place in one-month time, the relevance and timeliness of the LDC Group High-level Ministerial Meeting cannot be overstated. The LDC Group’s constructive and progressive role in the climate negotiations is highly needed in a changing world. Our hope is that this meeting will further strengthen the LDC Group and enable its 48 members to embark on the journey to Bonn with a concrete and unified agenda.

The active engagement of the LDC Group in the upcoming negotiations in Bonn is essential for unveiling comprehensive guidelines that will enable robust and effective implementation of the Paris Agreement. Norway wants guidelines that are as concrete and clear as possible. The Paris Agreement is built on the idea of progression over time and we will work tirelessly to see this realised. With the LDC Group as a powerful ally, we hope to succeed.

Norway is committed to achieving the goals of the Paris Agreement. We will remain vigilant to not slide back on international response to climate change. The current achievements have taken decades in the making, starting from the first World Climate Conference in 1979 up to the adoption of the Paris Agreement by the 21st Conference of the Parties on 12th December 2015. Our ambitions, at times, may be threatened by challenges. However, the continuing climate change exacerbated incidents, including the recent devastation in the Caribbean, should serve as reminders of the need to uphold the goals of the Paris Agreement.

Climate change poses a threat to all, but to LDCs in particular. It threatens to destroy the hard-earned gains of sustainable development efforts and hinder the attainment of the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030. On the other hand, climate change solutions also opens opportunities for pursuing more resilient, sustainable and healthier development pathways. The LDCs have through their NDCs shown climate leadership. By putting ambitious NDCs on the table, you have put everyone on the spot – in a good way. Because – when the poorest and most vulnerable among us are doing more than their fair share – others must feel obliged to step up their efforts and put forward ambitious targets. Norway is fully committed to its NDC of cutting 40% emissions by 2030 compared with 1990 and by 2050 reducing emissions by 80–95%.

Climate ambitions among developing countries, in particular the LDCs must be underpinned by financial and technical support. Norway is an important contributor to climate finance, through bilateral and multilateral channels. We are happy to be your partner and collaborate in our common efforts to address climate change.

Lastly, I would like to wish you a productive meeting and fruitful negotiations at the 23rd session of the Conference of the Parties.

Thank you!"