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EDITORIAL: Addressing Plight Of Vulnerable States Will Help Determine Success Of COP23

EDITORIAL: Addressing Plight Of Vulnerable States Will Help Determine Success Of COP23
November 10
12:01 2017

Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama has prompted delegates attending COP23 to focus on the objectives of the climate change summit in Bonn, Germany.

This is important because they have reached the implementation phase of the global climate change negotiations.

The Paris Agreement during COP21  laid out the plan to reduce carbon emissions and consequently lower global warming.

COP22 in Morocco added more momentum for the Convention in preparation for the implementation of the Paris Agreement during COP23.

Climate change has been linked to the wild weather patterns that have caused havoc across the globe.

Mr Bainimarama has posed three questions in a bid to get countries thinking about seriously committing themselves to the Paris Agreement.

It’s become clear that finance is essential to battle climate change. Moving forward the Adaptation Fund plays a crucial role.

PM’s question 1:  What do Parties see as the end result in 2018 on the Adaptation Fund serving the Paris Agreement?

Question 2: How can the role of the Adaptation Fund be further strengthened and built upon to continue to address the needs of the most vulnerable?

Question 3: What do Parties see as the end result at this session? What can be achieved here that all Parties can agree to?

Devastation and Championing

The most vulnerable that Mr Bainimarama refers to include small island states of the Pacific region. Fiji is part of this group.

That is why Mr Bainimarama is so passionate about climate change and the Fijian presidency of COP23.

While the presidency is championing the interests of the whole world, it’s the vulnerable that is so dear to his heart because he is the leader of one of them.

The devastation and deaths caused by Tropical Cyclone Winston stand as evidence of the impact of climate change on our beloved country.

No one can predict what’s going to happen in the future. We know that ice caps are melting and sea level rise is continuing and threatening islands in the region.

In Fiji, we have seen enough evidence.

The measures under the Paris Agreement will slow down the process.

In the meantime, we need to adapt to the changes and ensure that the vulnerable are protected.


This is where the Adaptation Fund comes in.

If we can present a powerful case, we could get a favourable consideration for assistance.

According to COP literature, the Subsidiary Body for Implementation (SBI) gives advice to the COP on all matters concerning the implementation of the Convention.

A particularly important task in this respect is to examine the information in the national communications and emission inventories submitted by Parties in order to assess the Convention’s overall effectiveness.

The SBI reviews the financial assistance given to non-Annex I Parties to help them implement their Convention commitments, and provides advice to the COP on guidance to the financial mechanism.

The SBI also advises the COP on budgetary and administrative matters.

The other body that helps COP is the Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice (SBSTA).

Mr Bainimarama has highlighted that in many parts of the world, climate change has already contributed to longer-term impacts such as worsening food security, reducing the availability of fresh water, and threatening human health.

Vulnerable states are the small economies like ours.

As COP23 continues let us hope good sense prevails and richer industrialised countries will feel the sense of desperation by the people of the vulnerable states.

Germany must be commended for its contribution of Euro 50 million to the Adaptation Fund and  to the least Developed Countries Fund.

We hope that other countries will follow. More support will help  determine the success of COP23 goals.


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