In the COP21 opening ceremonies this morning, President Obama spoke of the need to turn international progress on climate action into “an enduring framework for human progress.” Later, the Global Environment Facility hosted a session today called “Investing in Resilience—Responding to the Adaptation Needs of the Most Vulnerable.” The event concerned various countries’ participation with the Least Developed Country Fund (LDCF), goals for the future, and means of continuing support for urgent and immediate needs. Eleven developed countries pledged almost $250 million to support Least Developed Country (LDC) adaptation efforts through the LDCF. Several LDCs also spoke about their unique vulnerabilities to climate change and their specific adaptation needs.
Strikingly, in Paris, the City of Light, a delegate from Benin discussed a project in his country called a “Light for All” which will ensure every house has electricity. He elaborated on the importance of energy—“the end all and be all of development”—and of the need for international support for electrification and other energy necessary for development. Ethiopia also discussed its need of funding for energy. When asked whether LDCs voices were being heard at the COP, Manuel Augusto, current speaker for the LDC negotiation group and the Secretary of State for External Relations of Angola, said that the pledges made during the session were evidence that their voices are being heard, but not enough.
Providing LDCs the support they need to reach their adaptation and sustainable development goals is a way to form an enduring framework for human progress. Hopefully developed countries will leave on the light for LDCs to reach these goals.