Last week, AFJN joined dozens of organizations in thanking Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT) for his work in appropriating more money to the Least Developed Countries Fund (LDCF) of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). Senator Leahy pushed for $10 million in the 2009 Omnibus bill, an important step forward in helping poorer countries adapt to climate change.
However, the UN Human Development Report indicates that developing countries will need at least $86 billion in the coming year to cope with the impacts of a changing climate. As such, the letter also asks Senator Leahy to take the next step in asking Congress to appropriate $200 million to the LDCF in FY2010. AFJN urges you to contact your representative on this issue, using talking points from the letter below.
Read the full letter with signatories below:
Dear Senator Leahy:
As development, environment, science, and faith based organizations concerned about the impacts of climate change on poor countries and communities, we are writing to thank you for appropriating up to $10 million in the 2009 Omnibus for the Least Developed Countries Fund (LDCF) of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). We see this as an important first step in reengaging with the global community on climate change, but urge you to substantially increase the amount in FY2010.
The UN Human Development Report recently assessed that developing countries will require approximately $86 billion a year in new funding for adaptation to cope with climate impacts. While we expect that the majority of the US contribution to this target will come from revenue generated from US climate legislation and from a new climate agreement through the UNFCCC, the urgent need for immediate funds continues to mount. Because of the overwhelming need, we ask you to support appropriations of at least $200 million in FY2010 for the LDCF.
Climate change is already having disastrous effects on the world’s poorest countries. Extreme weather events, sea-level rise, drought, disruption of water and food supplies, and negative impacts on health threaten the very possibility of escape from poverty and mean that people must struggle further just to make ends meet.
Climate change also represents one of the gravest equity challenges of our time. Poor countries have had the least to do with creating the climate crisis and have the least ability to adapt to its impacts, and yet they are hit first and worst.
The Least Developed Countries Fund was established under United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in 2001. It provides resources to least developed countries to prepare and implement National Adaptation Programmes of Action (NAPAs). NAPAs are designed by local governments and civil society to identify urgent and immediate adaptation needs; they are action-oriented, country-driven, and based on national circumstances.
Despite consistent assertions by developing countries that funding for the implementation of NAPAs is urgently needed, the LDCF is vastly under-resourced. As of January 2009, the Least Developed Countries Fund contained approximately $135 million. Apart from this new proposal to appropriate $10 million in 2009, the United States has not contributed anything to this fund. Least developed countries have put time and resources into prioritizing their urgent adaptation needs, but they have not yet been able to implement their NAPAs because of a lack of funds in the LDCF.
We urge the Subcommittee on State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs to appropriate at least $200million in FY2010 for the Least Developed Countries Fund. Although this is a small sum compared to estimates of the cost of adaptation, we believe this contribution would be an important step to demonstrate the United States’ new leadership on climate change and its understanding of the gravity of the impacts on developing countries.
Thank you for your consideration of our request for increased funding for the Least Developed Countries Fund.
Africa Action
Africa Faith and Justice Network
Center of Concern
Church World Service
Conference of Major Superiors of Men
Congregation Justice Committee – Sisters of the Holy Cross, Notre Dame, Indiana EcoEquity
Friends Committee on National Legislation
Friends of the Earth US
Gender Action
Interfaith Power and Light Campaign
Jubilee Northwest Coalition, Seattle, Washington
Jubilee Montana Network
Jubilee San Diego
Jubilee USA Network
International Accountability Project
Leadership Conference of Women Religious
Lutheran World Relief
Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns
Mercy Corps
Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate
National Wildlife Federation
Nicaragua Center for Community Action
Oblates of Mary Immaculate, Justice, Peace, Integrity of Creation Office
Oil Change International
Oxfam America
Population Action International
School Sisters of Notre Dame Shalom NA Coordinating Committee
Solar Household Energy
Solar Cookers International
Sustainable Energy and Economy Network
TransAfrica Forum
Union of Concerned Scientists
United Methodist Women
Virginia Interfaith Power & Light
Virginia Interfaith Center for Public Policy
WE ACT for Environmental Justice
Women’s Environment and Development Organization