The Ethiopian Minister of Environment, Forests and Climate Change, H.E. Dr. Gemedo Dalle, participated in the opening of the meeting along with UNDP country director, Gerd Trogemann, and the Norwegian ambassador to the Ethiopia. The LDC - group chair, Gebru Jember, started by welcoming all participants and especially thanking Norway for the financial contribution and support to the meeting activity of the LDC group.
The group is comprised of 50 countries that the UN has labelled as the least developed based on three criteria, Gross Domestic Product (GDP) being one of them. Many of these countries are already suffering and are likely to continue to suffer from the consequences of man-made climate change, to which they have contributed very little. The LDC group has traditionally been among the most ambitious in international climate negotiations and has been fighting for equity and fairness. Without the collective pressure from these countries, it is unlikely that the Paris agreement would have included a reference to strive for a maximum 1.5 degree rise in temperature.
The Ambassador stressed the significance of the Ethiopian leadership in making the LDC group a proactive and constructive actor in the further work on climate. Minister Dr. Gemedo Dalle had a similar message to the participants in the meeting, wishing to see the LDC group setting the agenda in international climate negotiations. The strengthening of the LDC group is vital in making sure that the needs of the poor and more vulnerable countries of the world is a priority in the upcoming negotiation meeting in Bonn this year.
Ethiopia is a pioneering country in global climate work and Norway will continue to be a partner and major contributor to their efforts within forestry and climate smart agriculture.