Government of the Republic of Fiji
Ministry of Foreign Affairs
A Better Fiji through Excellence in Foreign Service
5th December, 2011, Durban, South Africa: Fiji this morning reminded the 17th Conference of the Parties (COP17) to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change and the 7th Conference of the Parties serving as the Meeting of the Parties (CMP7) to the Kyoto Protocol that has been meeting in Durban, South Africa from 28th November to 9th December 2011 of the importance of a focused approach in the review of global temperatures.
In her intervention this morning at COP17 Ms Tagicakibau said,
“Mr Chair, Our views on the discussion of the agenda items under consideration this morning is in line with the statement delivered by the distinguished representative of Bahamas on behalf of AOSIS. Let me just highlight the importance of two specific issues on the Review that we consider crucial and warrants emphasis here.”
“The first is the scope of the Review. Broadening the scope of the review is contrary to the agreement reached in Cancun. There was no agreement to redefine the scope of the review.”
“The second issue is the body that conducts the Review. The Review of the adequacy of the long-term temperature goal must be conducted by a new body that is appropriate to the task.”
“Finally, we commend the effort that has been put into producing the amalgamated draft texts and are committed to seeing a positive outcome from this session.”
“Thank you, Mr Chairman.”
The Alliance of Small Island Development States (AOSIS) of which Fiji is a member has consistently called for reducing global average temperature to “well below 1.5 degrees Celsius” to ensure the survival of all small island developing States.
In its own statement on the subject AOSIS says, “We want to remind all that as part of the high level package reached in the Cancun Agreements, “below two degrees Celsius” was adopted as the long term global temperature goal. This was on the understanding, that there would be a REVIEW of this long term global temperature goal with a view to strengthening it to 1.5 degrees Celsius when the review concludes in 2015.”
“AOSIS wants to ensure that the scope of the review remains focused as agreed in 1CP16, which is a REVIEW of the long term global temperature goal. Any attempt to bring in additional issues is a redefining of the scope that goes beyond the Cancun mandate.”
“Given its political nature, the review of the adequacy of the long term global temperature goal must be conducted by a new body that is appropriate to this important task. SBSTA and SBI are unacceptable options because they do not have the resources or the political profile required to conduct the review.”
“It is deeply troubling to AOSIS that the objective of the review is being undermined. We call on all to work together to focus our efforts here in Durban so we move forward with a review that is both effective and efficient.”
AOSIS members like Fiji have been emphasizing the following points to the meeting:
• Limited Scope - The Review must be limited to a robust science-based review of the adequacy of the temperature goal, to bring warming back to below 1.5°C to ensure the survival of all nations.
• Broadening the scope of the review is contrary to the agreement reached in Cancun. There was no agreement to redefine the scope of the review.
• New Body - Given its political nature, the review of the adequacy of the long term temperature must be conducted by a new body that is appropriate to the task.The existing bodies of the Convention (Subsidiary Body for Implementation, and Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice) are unacceptable options – they do not have the resources to conduct the review given their existing mandates, or the political profile necessary to consider the adequacy of the long term goal.
The Fiji Delegation to COP17 is led by the Permanent Secretary for Local Government, Urban Development, Housing and Environment, Mrs. Taina Tagicakibau and includes the Acting Deputy Secretary Ministry of Foreign Affairs & International Cooperation Mr. Penijamini Lomaloma, Ambassador Peceli Vocea Fiji’s Ambassador to the EU, Director Environment Mr. Jope Davetanivalu, Director Meteorology Mr. Alipate Waqaicelua, Deputy Permanent Representative of Fiji to the UN Mr. Luke Daunivalu, Deputy Conservator of Forests Mr. Samuela Lagataki, Dr Helena des Combes of USP, Lami Town Council CEO Ms. Preeya Ieli, Ms. Alisi Pulini Climate Change Officer Ministry of Foreign Affairs & International Cooperation, Mr. Peter Emberson of the Pacific Council of Churchs including Fiji’s High Commissioner to South Africa Mr. Ben Salacakau. The Minister for Local Government, Urban Development, Housing and Environment Colonel Samuela Saumatua will be joining the Delegation later when the Higher Level Sessions begin the following week.
(Photo caption: Ms Tagicakibau speaking on global temperature.)
Ministry of Foreign Affairs P. O. Box 2220 Government Buildings Suva, Fiji