The 46 least developed countries (LDCs), home to the world’s poorest and most vulnerable people, face the most adverse impacts of climate change, despite contributing least to the problem.
In recognition of the unique circumstances of the least developed countries, UN Climate Change has established a range of support mechanisms to enable the LDCs to address the adverse impacts of climate change, one of which is the Least Developed Countries Expert Group (LEG).
At COP 26 in Glasgow, the LEG was given a ten-year mandate to continue supporting the LDCs on climate change adaptation, specifically in advancing the formulation and implementation of national adaptation plans (NAPs) and helping the LDCs access funding from the Green Climate Fund (GCF).
Despite the support being offered to the LDCs, they are still lagging in accessing funding from the GCF for formulating NAPs and implementing projects and programmes on adaptation. This is one of the priority needs for support for the LDCs that the LEG discussed at its 41st meeting from 21 to 23 March 2022 held in a hybrid format in Nairobi.
Across different agenda items of this 41st LEG meeting, it became evident that access to finance, both for the formulation and the implementation of NAPs, is an overriding concern and determining factor for addressing all other needs.
In addition, it became evident that there is a need to expand the metrics for measuring and tracking adaptation, with a stronger focus on outcomes and impacts of adaptation.
The 41st LEG meeting was followed by the NAP writing workshop for African LDCs from 24 to 26 March to assist the LDCs in developing project profiles that could be converted into concept notes for submission to the GCF. The meeting and the workshop were hosted by UNEP and the United Nations Office in Nairobi.
Mr. Kenel Delusca, Chair of the Group, led the meeting by reflecting on key COP 26 outcomes — notably the extension of the Group’s mandate for ten years, the expansion of membership from 13 to 17 experts, and new mandates such as supporting the LDCs in developing adaptation communications. These preliminary discussions led to concrete elements of the two-year rolling work programme of the group.
The LEG affirmed its vision in supporting the LDCs on adaptation and set a new deadline for all 46 LDCs to have formulated their NAP by the end of 2022 / early 2023. The LEG will focus its support on: ensuring progress in NAP formulation and implementation; addressing both NAP objectives and linking it to the global goal on adaptation; increasing coherence between different instruments under the Convention and the Paris Agreement; and in accessing funding from the Green Climate Fund for NAPs.
Collaboration and partnerships are at the core of the LEG’s work, hence exchanges were held between the LEG and different relevant constituted bodies and organizations to identify opportunities for collaboration in supporting the LDCs in formulating and implementing NAPs.
The Adaptation Committee, the Consultative Group of Experts, the Executive Committee of the Warsaw International Mechanism on Loss and Damage, the Facilitative Working Group of the Local Communities and Indigenous Peoples Platform and the Nairobi Work Programme have identified areas for collaboration and synergies.
The interaction with the LDC Group Chair, the meetings with the secretariats of the GCF and the GEF have all contributed to shaping the work programme of the LEG to make it more targeted and responsive to the needs of the LDCs.
In addition, a number of UN organizations and regional centres working with the LEG shared their updates in supporting LDCs in formulating and implementing NAPs, including in accessing the USD 3 million from the GCF readiness and preparatory support programme.
All forces are gearing towards showing concrete outcomes by COP 27, since 2022 is considered a year of implementation for adaptation. The LEG will be working together with the LDCs in ensuring that they benefit from the doubling of climate adaptation finance by 2025 and also in harnessing the role of NAPs in informing adaptation communications as we advance towards the global stocktake of the Paris Agreement.