LDC reflections of 2020: climate action, ambition and the path forward


This IIED Debates online event on Thursday, 28 January heard perspectives and reflections on 2020 and priorities for 2021 with climate leaders from the least developed countries.

Sunday, 31 January, 2021
Woman walks in the distance on barren, drought-ridden soil

In Mali, the vicious circle of droughts and floods has serious consequences on the populations who live mainly from agriculture and livestock (Photo: Curt Carnemark/World Bank, via FlickrCC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

2020 was supposed to be a ‘super year’ for climate policy. Instead, the year was turned upside down due to the COVID-19 pandemic. High-level meetings and international conventions that were due to advance ambition and lead to climate commitments were postponed or adapted.

At the same time, countries focused efforts on COVID-recovery, creating opportunities to enhance action for people, climate and nature. So, how did the world fare in terms of advancing climate action?

Reflecting on 2020's major diplomatic moments, this event explored whether expectations were met for climate action, nationally determined contributions, long-term strategies and climate finance delivery.

Participants heard how the LDCs have been navigating through the COVID-exacerbated economic and climate crises and the implications as we embark on the ‘super year’ of 2021. What are the priorities now and how can we enhance climate action and ambition in the context of sustainable development?

Event coverage

You can watch a video recording of the complete event below and on IIED's YouTube channel.

About the speakers

Cecilia Silva Bernardo is the director for cooperation of the Ministry of Culture, Tourism, and Environment of the Republic of Angola. She is a climate negotiator for Angola and for the LDCs and, currently, she is a co-chair of the Adaptation Committee of the UNFCCC.

Gladys Habu is a UNICEF Pacific supporter and supports the work of the Pacific Islands Students Fighting Climate Change Solomon Islands. She is a pharmacist at the Solomon Islands National Referral Hospital and also Miss Solomon Islands 2019/20.

Motsomi Maletjane leads the LDC Expert Group (LEG) and National Adaptation Plans (NAPs) Unit of the UNFCCC secretariat, responsible for supporting the LEG, the process to formulate and implement national adaptation plans, national adaptation programmes of action and the LDC work programme.

Andrew Norton (moderator) is director of IIED. He is an applied anthropologist working on a range of issues related to social and environmental justice.

Huw Davies is deputy lead negotiator for the UK COP26 presidency team.

Brianna Craft is a senior researcher in IIED's Climate Change research group. She supports the Least Developed Countries (LDC) Group at the United Nations Framework on Climate Change (UNFCCC) negotiations. She works with LDC representatives to negotiate outcomes on technology development and transfer that benefit the world’s poorest.

About the series

This event was part of the IIED Debates series. Through the convening of expert speakers and external stakeholders, IIED brings together an international community to discuss critical issues.

IIED Debates encompass both physical and digital events, including critical themes, breakfast debriefs and webinars. These events are public and are hosted regularly throughout the year in our London and Edinburgh offices and online.

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Juliette Tunstall ([email protected]), IIED's internal engagement and external events officer