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Pacific Leaders Ramp Up Loss and Damage Finance Facility Demands as COP27 Negotiations Reach ‘Crunch Time’

As negotiations at COP27 heat up nearing the conclu­sion of the conference this weekend, Pacific Island leaders are not backing down on their demand to see the inclusion of a loss and damage facility in the final COP27 climate pact text.
19 Nov 2022 14:55
Pacific Leaders Ramp Up Loss and Damage Finance Facility Demands as COP27 Negotiations Reach ‘Crunch Time’
1.5 to stay alive ….. Head of the Fijian Delegation to COP27 Fiji’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations Satyendra Prasad with youths representing NGO’s and CSO’s at COP27 in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt on November 16, 2022.

As negotiations at COP27 heat up nearing the conclu­sion of the conference this weekend, Pacific Island leaders are not backing down on their demand to see the inclusion of a loss and damage facility in the final COP27 climate pact text.

While some leaders have ex­pressed disappointment at the pushback and stalling of negotia­tion processes for key negotiation priorities of the Pacific, there is some level of certainty left for the inclusion of the facility to push through.

With negotiators scrambling into the night to finalise the text of the climate change conference, United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres said negotiators were at crunch time with negotiations.

United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres at COP27

Vanuatu

Vanuatu’s Minister for Climate Change Ralph Regenvanu in a press conference in Sharm El-Sheikh on Thursday said the region was out of time, money and patience and it was crucial that leaders look to establish a loss and damage finance facility at COP27.

“Let me make it clear that if na­tions leave this COP27 without hav­ing being shown the political will to hear the desperate calls of the most vulnerable countries in the world to establish a loss and damage fund, we will consider this as a severe ab­rogation to us under the UNFCCC and the Paris Agreement,” Minis­ter Regenvanu said.

“The final text of the 27th Confer­ence of Parties must establish a loss and damage facility.

“Many within the UNFCCC pro­cess who are already questioning its integrity will begin to take this fight for our lives elsewhere.

“The establishment of a loss and damage fund will determine the success or failure of our collective leadership here.

“I must go back and tell my peo­ple that the UNFCCC is working for them and that rich committing countries have agreed to pay and address the harm that they have caused, that they have established a fund under the capable leadership of the Egyptian presidency to ad­dress loss and damage.”

Vanuatu’s Minister for Climate Change Ralph Regenvanu speaking during a side event in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt on November 17, 2022

Fiji

Fiji’s Head of Delegation to COP27 Fiji’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations Satyendra Pras­ad said building seawalls, improv­ing waterways and raising existing seawalls were no longer an option.

“This is a very important message and our message to major polluters and emitters: It is a moral responsi­bility that you pay for the loss and damages you have caused.”

Prime Minister Voreqa Bainima­rama has also called on the United States President Joe Biden to sup­port loss and damage at COP27.

“There’s no clearer way to show the USA is serious about it’s better relationship with the planet and our US-Pacific Partnership.”

Samoa PM

Samoan Prime Minister Fiame Naomi Mata’afa said arrangements for the Loss and Damage Response Fund must remain a priority for all.

She added that loss and damage must remain firmly on the table as there were increasing occurrences and severity of climate change im­pacts everywhere.

“Currently, the financial burden for loss and damage falls almost en­tirely on affected countries and not those most responsible for climate change. The promised $100 billion floor for climate action can no long­er be sidelined as this amount is al­ready inadequate for the challenges that lie ahead.”

Pacific Islands Forum

Secretary General of the Pacific Is­lands Forum Henry Puna said: “On Loss and Damage, we cannot wait for the next COP to see action. We are experiencing loss and damage now, and delaying tactics are not acceptable, as they push the Pacific further to climate catastrophe. For us, this is not rhetoric or political fanfare. This is about the survival of our future generations.”

November 17, 2022 — Disasters, such as wildfires and floods brought about by climate change, are an increasingly expensive risk for insurers. Graphic shows the worst disasters by economic loss.

 

 Negotiators Remain Divided On A Number Of Significant Issues As COP27 Goes Into Final Day

 

COP27 is scheduled to con­clude this weekend and nego­tiators remain divided on a number of significant issues.

United Nations Secretary General António Guterres while making his statement at the COP27 stakeout in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt told lead­ers and negotiators that the world was watching and it was time they stand and deliver.

“I have returned to COP27 to ap­peal to all negotiating to deliver the ambitious and meaningful Climate Action we so desperately need,” he said. “This is no time for finger pointing.

“The blame game is a recipe for mutually assured destruction. But COP27 can make a difference here and now.”

He urged leaders to have agreed solutions to respond to loss and damage, to close emissions gap and to deliver on finance.

“The climate clock is ticking and trust keeps eroding.

“The parties at COP27 have a chance to make a difference here and now and I urge them to act and act quickly. Global emissions are at the highest level in history.”

He appealed to the parties to act in three critical areas.

“First, the most effective way to rebuild trust is by finding an am­bitious and credible agreement on loss and damage and financial support to developing countries. The time for talking about loss and damage finance is over, we need ac­tion.”

Fossil Fuels Must Be Phased Out, Says Satyendra Prasad

 

Fiji has reiterated the call to phase out fossil fuels com­pletely. Fiji’s Head of delegation to COP27 Fiji’s Perma­nent Representative to the United Nations Satyendra Prasad said fossil fuels must be phased out.

“Who is saying it should be phased down? Anyone that is saying it must be phased down we understand is just transition,” he said.

“We understand so tell us, show us the pace at which you are exponentially increasing your ‘phasing down’? Show us the numbers and let it be convincing.”

He said fossil fuel was not part of the 1.5degree Celsius future.

“There is no question, there is no stable planet for all of us including those who are arguing for a slower phasing Down that the fossil fuel is not a part of the 1.5-degree Celsius future for the planet.

“That era has gone, the time has passed and all we need is commitment, energy and pace and global solidarity.”

Fiji looks towards Pope’s moral leadership

While the exodus of leaders from Sharm El Sheikh on the banks of the Red Sea has begun, the Fijian delegation continues to wander in the desert of negotiating rooms and meetings at COP27.

Head of the Fijian delegation and Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Dr Saty­endra Prasad took the opportunity to meet with the Holy See delegation to discuss the abiding relationship between Fiji and the Vatican.

Ambassador Prasad thanked His Holiness Pope Francis for his unwavering leadership on cli­mate change.

He said that communities across the Blue Pa­cific Continent continue to draw great inspira­tion and faith from the moral leadership his Ho­liness provides on climate issues and welcomed Pope Francis to visit Fiji in the near future after a planned visit was shelved due to the Coronavi­rus Pandemic

Ambassador Prasad and Holy See representa­tive, Paolo Conversi, expressed agreement about the need to see young children return to a lived awareness of the environment and its bountiful yet fragile relationship with humanity.

They discussed the biodiversity and ocean cri­sis, affirming that ocean systems are central to Pacific peoples and must be mainstreamed into action related to environmental sustainability.

Ambassador Prasad highlighted the fight for a functioning Loss and Damage mechanism for Small Island Developing States and all countries affected by the high-emitting nations.

Deferment on Fukushima discharge dates advised

The Pacific Islands Forum, Secretary General Henry Puna has met with Dr Ken Buesseler in the margins of COP27 in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt, to discuss the impending discharge of contaminated nuclear wastewater into the Pa­cific Ocean from Japan’s Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant.

Dr Buesseler, attending Ocean-Climate nexus events at COP27, is the Senior Scientist at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution.

A marine radiochemist who studies the fate and distribution of radioactive elements in the ocean, his lab has been active in response to ra­dioactivity released from disasters such as the impact of radioactivity released from the Fuk­suhima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant, and from earlier sources such as Chernobyl or atomic weapons testing at the Marshall Islands.

He is one of five global members of the PIF Panel of Experts assessing whether the intend­ed discharge by Japan in April 2023 is safe for the Pacific Ocean. According to the independent assessment of the PIFS Panel Experts to date, there is insufficient data to classify the impend­ing discharge by Japan as safe for Pacific people and our ocean’s biodiversity.

“Experts have advised a deferment to the impending discharge into the Pacific Ocean by Japan is necessary,” said SG Puna, “and based on that advice, our members encourage consideration for options other than dis­charge, while the independent panel of experts continue to further assess of the safety of the discharge in light of the current data gaps.”

Story By: inoke.rabonu@fijisun.com.fj



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