Preparing for Climate Action: MoNRE, UN, World Bank and GGGI co-organise COP28 briefing
16 November 2023
Thursday 9 November 2023, Vientiane Capital, Lao PDR
On Thursday 9 November 2023, the United Nations in Lao PDR (UN), World Bank, and Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI) jointly supported the Ministry of Natural Resources and the Environment (MoNRE) to organise a Briefing Seminar for Lao PDR’s Delegation to the 28th Conference of Parties (COP28) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), which will take place in Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE), from 30 November to 12 December 2023.
The day-long briefing event, co-chaired in the morning by Minister of Natural Resources and the Environment H.E. Mme Bounkham Vorachit and World Bank Country Manager Mr Alex Kremer (on behalf of co-organising development partners – UN, World Bank and GGGI), sought to familiarise all members of Lao PDR’s COP28 delegation with key topics to be discussed at the Conference, and to support coordinated inter-ministerial preparations through technical discussions facilitated by climate policy experts.
As H.E. Mme Bounkham Vorachit highlighted in her opening remarks, “the Conference of Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change serves as a crucial forum for countries that are a party to the Convention. It presents an opportunity to discuss and negotiate critical issues such as climate change adaptation, greenhouse gas emissions reduction, capacity building, financing mechanisms, technology transfer, and other related matters. Lao PDR’s participation in the upcoming COP28 holds significant importance to enhance national climate change management efforts.”
In this context, the preparatory event was attended by over 70 participants including Government officials from Ministries and Departments expected to be represented in Lao PDR’s delegation to COP28 (i.e., 27 Lao delegates from six Ministries expected at COP28), other Government Ministries with mandates related to climate policy, academia, and development partners supporting the Government’s climate priorities.
Following keynote remarks by Mr Saood AlNoori, Head of Asian Affairs for the UAE COP28 Presidency, highlighting power of partnerships to make “transformational progress that delivers for climate, economies, and people”, an introductory first session served as an orientation on UNFCCC COP events, Paris Agreement and international climate negotiations processes. The subsequent session covered Lao PDR’s climate priorities, commitments to date, and intentions going into COP28 (led by MoNRE), followed in turn by a series of thematic sessions (led by the UN, World Bank and GGGI) which examined key issues related to climate finance (including a review of the global climate finance landscape and opportunities for Lao PDR), adaptation (including Loss & Damage and national adaptation planning), and mitigation (with a focus on cooperative approaches under Article 6 of the Paris Agreement). Thematic sessions comprised an overview of international discussions to date, highlighted relevance for Lao PDR specifically, and included suggestions of related (side-)events Lao PDR’s delegation could engage with at COP28.
With three weeks left between the briefing seminar and the opening of COP28, the Lao delegation is now finalising its preparations the Conference, to make the most out of the opportunity COP28 presents for Lao PDR – as a climate-vulnerable and low-emitting country – to advocate for its interests, learn from and exchange best practice, and build partnerships for heightened climate action.