The official delegation of the Lao PDR, led by H.E. Mme. Bounkham Vorachit, Minister of Natural Resources and Environment, together with representatives from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Embassy of the Lao PDR to the United Kingdom and Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, attended the 26th Conference of the Parties of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP 26), held in Glasgow, the United Kingdom, between 31st October and 12th November 2021.
During the High-Level Segment Minister Vorachit delivered the national statement on 9th November by reiterating the Lao government’s commitment to implement the Paris Agreement on Climate Change and highlighting progress made in revising the Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) that clearly outlines the ambitious targets for national actions for tackling and mitigating climate change toward achieving net-zero emissions by 2050. The country’s lofty goals to be achieved by 2030 include, among others, reducing the greenhouse gas emissions by 60%, increasing forest cover to 70% of total land area, promoting increased use of renewable and clean energy through a 30% share of electric vehicles, 10% biofuel, and improving water management practices. In order to achieve these targets, Lao PDR emphasized a pressing need for adequate financial resources, including enhanced financial and technical support, and urged the international community, especially development partners to fulfill their commitment under the Paris Agreement.
The COP 26 focused on discussions and negotiations set under four goals, namely (1) securing global net-zero emissions by 2050 and keep 1.5 degrees within reach, including receiving ambitious 2030 nationally determined contributions (NDCs) to emissions reductions from each country, (2) Adapting to protect communities and natural habitats, through moves such as protecting and restoring ecosystems as well as investing in resilient infrastructure and agriculture to safeguard homes, livelihoods, and even lives, (3) Mobilizing finance, by unleashing at least $100 billion in climate-related funding each year and $3-$5 trillion per year of investment needed in private finance five to eight times higher than current levels, (4) Working together to deliver, by finalizing the Paris Rulebook; managing successful negotiations; and catalyzing collaboration on COP26 goals, particularly on coal, renewables, zero-emission vehicles, and nature.
The negotiations ended on Saturday 13th, one extra day beyond the official schedule. The package adopted is a global compromise that reflects a delicate balance between the interests and aspirations of the Parties to the core instruments on the international regime that governs global efforts against climate change. Adaptation, Mitigation, and Climate Finance are all strengthened in a complex and delicate balance supported by all Parties. In addition, a key outcome was the conclusion of the Paris rulebook. An agreement was reached on the fundamental norms related to Article 6 on carbon markets, which will make the Paris Agreement fully operational. The Government of Lao PDR through Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, as the national focal point for climate change, will continue to strengthen cooperation and engagement with national stakeholders and relevant international organizations as well as business and private sectors to implement the Paris Agreement and the outcome of COP26 based on the NDC of the country.