Brussels, 31 October 2015/ ACP: An issues paper adopted by the ACP Group’s Sub-committee on Sustainable Development will serve as the basis of a common ACP position at the United Nations Climate Change Conference COP21 in Paris this December.

The paper, deliberated upon by regional and international stakeholders on 28-29 October, covers key issues of convergence for the 79 member states spanning Sub-Saharan Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific Islands.

Chaired by the Ambassador of Gabon, H.E Félicité Ongouori Ngoubili (pictured above), the special meeting of the ACP Sub-Committee on Sustainable Development included presentations by European Commission’s DG CLIMA & DG DEVCO, UNEP, UNDP, the South Centre. Regional organisations based in Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific Islands, as well as representatives of the Least Development Countries (LDCs), the Smalls Island Developing States (SIDS) and the Indian Ocean Commission (IOC) also made interventions.

The issues paper will be submitted for endorsement by the ACP Committee of Ambassadors and the ACP Council of Ministers, after which it may be used by member states’ delegations during the COP21 climate negotiations.

Essentially, the document reaffirms the view that climate change is the single greatest challenge to the sustainable livelihoods, security and well-being of African, Caribbean and Pacific peoples, posing immediate and long-term significant risks to sustainable development efforts. Climate change threatens the very survival of the 79 developing countries that make up the ACP Group.

The paper also highlights the importance of the work of the Ad Hoc Working Group on the Durban Platform for Enhanced Action (ADP) to develop a legally-binding instrument or outcome applicable to all Parties, which is central to the success of the Paris Climate Change Conference scheduled for 30 November – 11 December, 2015.

Other key concerns for ACP countries include adaptation to climate variability and adequate support for adaptation actions especially for LDCs and SIDS; loss and damage associated with impacts of climate change; mitigation and limits on global warming; climate financing; technology development/transfer and capacity building; and reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation.

The ACP position, as adopted by the Sub-Committee, lends full support towards ensuring a robust and ambitious 2015 Paris Agreement that will contribute to the ultimate objective of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), reduce the adverse impacts of climate change on all vulnerable communities in ACP Countries, and protect the planet for future generations.

The full issues paper will be publicly available after endorsement by the ACP Committee of Ambassadors.

Read the welcoming remarks by the ACP Secretary General

(Photos from top: Chairperson of the ACP Sub-committee on Sustainable Development, Gabon's Ambassador to the EU H.E Félicité Ongouori Ngoubili; European Commission DG DEVCO officials led by Mr. Koen Doens; Ambassador Ngoubili chairing the special preparatory meeting for the Paris Climate Change Conference COP21)

– ACP Press