Pacific negotiators discuss global climate developments

A virtual forum brought together climate change negotiators from across the Pacific to analyse the outcomes of the 25th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (U.N.F.C.C.C. C.O.P. 25).

Held last week, the virtual meeting also discussed work that has to be done by the region as a consequence of those outcomes. 

According to a statement released by the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (S.P.R.E.P.), the meeting was also a chance to provide updates on other international climate change developments.

The negotiators were briefed on the state of play of the U.N.F.C.C.C. negotiations and discussed Pacific Small Island Developing States (S.I.D.S.) positions on key issues.

It brings together close to 130 participants from the Pacific and includes speakers from the Caribbean, Democratic Republic of Congo, Germany, London, New York and Norway. 

The Chief Executive Officer of the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment (M.N.R.E.), Ulu Bismarck Crawley, highlighted out the vulnerabilities of Pacific states not just to climate change but the COVID-19 pandemic. 

“COVID-19 has brought about restrictions and limitations that have presented to the world the stark reality of just how vulnerable we are and how this vulnerability is rapidly exacerbated when the issue is not dealt with immediately,” Ulu said in the statement. 

“2020 has presented us with the stark reality of how vulnerable we are. 

“Facing multiple challenges such as the climate crisis and the global pandemic, with little resources to respond in an effective manner, reiterates our vulnerability as small islands.” 

Ulu also stressed that the common goals and priorities to which the Pacific as S.I.D.S. have been mandated to convey at the highest level by their constituencies must continue. 

“Our survival is dependent on our fortitude, our tenacity, our resilience, and through genuine partnership.” he concluded. 

The S.P.R.E.P. Director General, Leota Kosi Latu, stated that the Secretariat is extremely conscious of the magnitude of the COVID-19 pandemic and recognises the impacts it has had globally, regionally, and nationally.

Leota noted that those impacts have included the cancellation and postponement of multiple international forums considered crucial to developing Pacific states’ climate responses. 

“Yet in spite of the inconveniences and constraints brought about by COVID-19, we remain diligent in our sustained efforts to advance the momentum of work already progressed, and which is further evidenced by this virtual Post-C.O.P. 25 Analysis meeting,” he said. 

Speaking via live video link from Fiji, the Permanent Secretary for the Ministry of Economy and Chair of Pacific S.I.D.S. in the global climate change negotiations, Makereta Konrote, said that the current chaotic global situation is a glimpse into a chaotic future in which climate goals are not met. 

Ms. Konrote said that if the world failed to achieve the temperature goals of the Paris Agreement and chart a course towards a net-zero future by 2050. 

“The road to C.O.P. 26 is playing out to be one of the trickiest and most important yet since C.O.P. 21 in Paris. We, along with the [United Kingdom] Presidency, have our work cut out,” she said.

She added that while this C.O.P. 26 has been deferred to November 2021 due to COVID-19, the global community must not delay the necessary climate action required of us in 2020. 

“We need to limit the global average temperature rise to well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels and pursue efforts to achieve 1.5°C, as Pacific SIDS countries have consistently advocated for.”

She also reiterated Ulu’s call for the need for more partnership: “We must press ahead with renewed partnership, collaboration and cooperation.”

The Post-C.O.P. 25 analysis workshop and training is being convened by S.P.R.E.P. with the support of the Intra-ACP GCCA Pacific Adaptation to Climate Change and Resilience Building (P.A.C.R.E.S.) project, across six different Pacific Time zones for three days. 


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