Interview: Tosi Mpanu-Mpanu, Face of World's Poor Countries, on Climate Change

For climate change negotiators, Tosi Mpanu-Mpanu is the new face of the world's poorest countries. In January, Mpanu-Mpanu, a 42-year-old diplomat, was named as chairman of the LDC Group—the acronym stands for least developed countries—an umbrella organization of 48 underdeveloped nations, mostly in central Africa and Southeast Asia. They work together at the intergovernmental negotiations under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.

Some of these nations are among countries that suffer most from the impacts of climate change. And because their economies are among the least developed, they contribute relatively little to the greenhouse gases in the atmosphere that cause climate change. They also have limited resources, so it can be difficult for their voices to be heard in a process dominated by rich industrialized countries.

Mpanu-Mpanu was born in the Democratic Republic of Congo and educated in his native country, as well as in France and the U.S. He spoke to Bloomberg BNA's Eric J. Lyman on the sidelines of the UN's May 16–26 Bonn Climate Change Conference about the group's priorities, why climate change is such a pressing problems for LDCs and how aid from developed countries can be improved.

Roberto Saltori