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Governments Not Ready For COP24, Says PM

Governments Not Ready For COP24, Says PM
Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama at the opening ceremony of the Additional COP23 Negotiating Session in Bangkok, Thailand.
September 05
10:38 2018

Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama at the opening ceremony of the Additional COP23 Negotiating Session in
Bangkok, Thailand on Tuesday said – “Governments are unprepared for a crucial climate change meeting in Poland later this year aimed at ensuring the full implementation of the 2015 Paris Agreement”.

The Paris Agreement, he said, set a sweeping goal of ending the
fossil fuel era this century, but the text was vague on details.

Mr Bainimarama, who is also president of the 23rd annual Conference of the Parties to the 1992 United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP23), said that without guidelines countries “risk chaos at Katowice and the possibility of yet another delay in the urgent work of combating climate change.

“In three months’ time we will be in Katowice, and frankly, we are not ready. I don’t think that statement should surprise anyone in this room,” Mr Bainimarama said.

“The meeting in Bangkok was not just an additional session because it was an urgent session.

“Would any of us like to return to our people and tell them that we had the chance to do something truly great and truly necessary for the world we will pass to our children, but that we lacked the will to get it done?” he asked.

He said around our world the affects of climate change were becoming more evident and more severe. No country or region he said was spared and the effects in one region were felt in others.

Mr Bainimarama urged delegates to come up with clear guidelines.

Meanwhile, on Sunday, Patricia Espinosa, Executive Secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), told Reuters that governments were not on track to meet a goal of the Paris agreement of capping temperatures well below 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 Fahrenheit) before the end of the century.

She said she hoped a draft text for negotiation on the “rule book’ of the 2015 agreement would emerge at the end of the week-long Bangkok talks.

Specifically she said they were unlikely to hit the ambitious goal of the Paris climate agreement to cap temperature increases not only below 2C, but closer to 1.5C.

“1.5 is the goal that is needed for many islands and many countries that are particularly vulnerable to avoid catastrophic effects. In many cases it means the survival of those countries,”. She said this could then ideally be agreed on by government ministers at the December meeting in Katowice, Poland.

She said it is a process that has been ongoing for some time. One of the reasons why this is so complex she said was because they were talking about many different areas.

Governments she said were not doing enough to meet their climate targets.

Edited by Caroline Ratucadra

maikab@fijisun.com.fj

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