STATEMENT ON BEHALF OF THE GROUP OF 77 AND CHINA BY H.E. AMB. BYRON BLAKE, DEPUTY PERMANENT REPRESENTATIVE OF ANTIGUA AND BARBUDA TO THE UNITED NATIONS, AT THE SECOND PLENARY OF THE THIRD SESSION OF THE AD HOC WORKING GROUP ON LONG-TERM COOPERATIVE ACTION (AWG LCA) (Accra, Ghana, 23 August 2008)
The Group of 77 and China would like to reiterate its gratitude to the Government and people of Ghana for their warm welcome and friendly hospitality. The Group would also like to compliment you on the able and committed leadership that you have shown during this process. We would also like to thank the Secretariat for the excellent arrangements that have been made for this meeting.
The Group of 77 and China consists of over 130 countries, most of whom are already experiencing the devastating effects of climate change. It is therefore, with great regret that I must again communicate the disappointment of the Group with the slow progress of these negotiations. Notwithstanding our disappointment, the Group remains prepared to continue to participate fully in these negotiations. We are willing to work in this session for a result that will put us on track to arrive at an agreement in Copenhagen, consistent with the magnitude and demands of the climate challenge. You might of course say we have no choice - it is in our interest. I want to suggest that it is in the long term interest of the entire international community, and indeed the future of our planet.
The Group is concerned that the sense of urgency which is required to achieve the ambitious task before us has not been reflected in the negotiations thus far. New figures suggest that globally, a dangerous temperature increase of 4oC may be what we have to prepare for, if we do not take the level of action required. Everyday we lose in facilitating, enabling and undertaking mitigation action, increases, exponentially the cost of future adaptation action.
The Group of 77 and China has always emphasized and will continue to reiterate that climate change poses serious risks and challenges particularly to developing countries and therefore demands urgent global cooperative action and response. Scientific evidence shows that the adverse effects of climate change and the associated phenomena threaten the sustainable development, livelihoods and the very existence of many developing countries and in particular Africa, the LDCs, the LLDCs, SIDS and other disaster prone developing countries.
The G77 and China member states share a common vision of reversing climate change, protecting the economies, the environment and the culture of all countries from the effects of climate change. In this regard the Group would like to state its positions very clearly on how to achieve this in the context of the Bali Declaration and Action Plan.
The AWG KP and the AWG LCA are two complimentary parallel processes. The Group would like to reiterate that the AWG LCA builds upon other processes under the Convention but does not replace them. In this regard, the clear mandate of the AWG LCA is to work towards enabling the full, effective and sustained implementation of the Convention through long-term cooperative action, now, up to and beyond 2012. The work of the AWG-KP is to ensure that Annex I Parties individually deliver on their legal commitment for their historical impact in the climate regime. Individually, and as a group, Annex I Parties must continue to take the lead actions on their acknowledged historical responsibility.
While we work towards this goal we should always work in accordance with the provisions of the Convention, in particular the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities.
As we stated in Bonn, the Group of 77 and China looks to a new approach here in Ghana, we would like to begin to focus on achieving the integrated and comprehensive common understanding of the where we are going, what we are doing and precisely how and with what enabling means we are going to get to the fundamental objectives.