Government of the Republic of Fiji
Ministry of Foreign Affairs
A Better Fiji through Excellence in Foreign Service
Statement by Mr. Sainivalati S. Navoti Director Political & Treaties 2nd Meeting of the National Climate Change Country Team Holiday Inn- 23 June, 2011, Bonn Meeting Brief & the Road to Durban - COP17"
1. Thank you very much Mr. Chairman. It is indeed an honour to speak at this 2nd Meeting of the Fiji National Climate Change Country Team. I am happy to give a brief account of the recent Climate Change Negotiation Talks which was held in Bonn, Germany from 6-17 June, 2011 and to highlight for information purposes, areas of emphasis which are currently being pursued by the Fiji Government in these negotiations. I will also try to identify priority areas where efforts are being exerted in our endeavour to advance our national interests in the various thematic issues in climate debate processes.
2. I was privileged to have been accompanied by the Director of Environment in these negotiations, he will also be speaking after me and will be elaborating further on matters which I will be raising now.
3. Mr. Chairman, I am pleased to report at the outset, that unlike the experience we had in Copenhagen and Cancun, we were pleased with the constructive approach taken by most parties at the Bonn session and we have seen useful work in many areas. However, I must clarify; there is still very significant work to be done if we are to have a successful COP in Durban.
4. These Sir are the Priorities for Fiji and we will continue to ensure progress on the following areas:
5. Mr. Chairman, I would like to take the liberty to say a few words to further elaborate some of these issues.
6. Mr. Chairman, from a Small Island State perspective, and as a negotiator, I will say the gap between the current mitigation pledges and actions inscribed under the Cancun agreements and what is required by the science is scandalous. Fiji holds the view that Parties must take action to raise the level of ambition if this Climate Change Negotiation process has to retain any credibility as a forum for addressing climate change. We cannot afford to wait. Addressing this gap must be the urgent and overarching focus of our work going forward. Fiji has therefore been consistent in urging all parties make a genuine effort to implement the understandings reached in Cancun with respect to this very important area of our work.
National Appropriate Mitigation Actions (NAMAs)
7. As Fiji Negotiators, we also welcomed the opportunity at the Bonn session to continue discussions to clarify the assumptions and methodological aspects of pledged NAMAs. We felt that the session has brought some helpful structure and prioritization to our efforts to develop guidelines and modalities for enhanced emissions reporting and review – these will be central to ensure transparency, comparability and environmental integrity in our regime.
8. Related to this, but different in many aspects, is the review of the adequacy of the long-term global goal. Mr. Chairman, I emphasize, the review of the adequacy of the long-term global goal. We have seen many parties at this session confuse the review with the level of ambition.
9. The Cancun agreements are clear. The review is intended to address whether we should revise the long-term global goal to 1.5 degrees as has been advocated by over 100 parties in the process. The ambition gap is a different issue that is intended to be addressed immediately and not as a result of the review. It may be possible that the review may call for a further increase in ambition over and above that we which we have referred to earlier in this statement.
10. On the question of institutional architecture, we were generally satisfied that work has started on all the elements of the institutional framework.
11. On the adaptation committee, we were generally satisfied with the draft text, but there is work be done in a number of areas including the elaboration of the functions of the Committee, developing clearer linkages to bodies inside and outside the Convention, including establishing greater clarity on the linkage of the Adaptation Committee to the financial mechanism of the Convention.
Other issues that will need to be discussed and clarified in the run-up to Durban include the composition of the Committee, its decision-making modalities and where in the organisational structure of the Convention the Committee will sit, i.e. directly under the COP or subsidiary to one or other of the SBs. The plan for the way forward is to take up discussions of the current text at the next session.
12. On the question of finance, the transitional committee has already started its work. In the lead up to COP 17 in Durban, Parties need to deepen their understanding on options for ensuring scaled-up, new and additional, predictable and adequate funding to meet the long term financing goals.
Fiji concurs with AOSIS and views that activities such as technical workshops can provide the space, within the formal negotiating process, to achieve this objective. As we move toward Durban, AOSIS will make a formal submission on a draft decision on sources of long-term finance.
13. On Technology, we find the facilitators text very useful as it captures the ideas expressed during the past two weeks on the governance structure and terms of the reference for the Climate Technology Centre and Network, procedures for call for proposals and criteria to evaluate and select its host, and links between the Technology Mechanism and other institutions under the Convention including the financial mechanism.
14. Fiji re-emphasizes that the Centre and Network must address the special circumstances of small island States and in particular in developing and modifying technologies for adaptation and mitigation that can be diffused and maintained within our countries.
15. Both the Director of Environment and myself notes the very useful discussions which occurred among the Parties during this session of the AWGLCA on the issues related to fully operationalizing the Technology Mechanism at COP 17.
16. Mr. Chairman, Capacity-building continues to be an area of importance to Fiji and we were encouraged that parties continued discussions on how capacity-building can be enhanced through the existing mechanisms. We await with great interest the technical paper to be prepared by the Secretariat for consideration at the next AWG-LCA meeting. That paper will capture how capacity-building is being addressed under existing and newly established bodies of the convention and we look forward to the guidance that it will provide to our deliberations as it will also assist the formulation of our national position on this thematic issue as we look towards Durban.
Legally Binding Instrument
17. Mr. Chairman, Fiji has continually in this process held the view that all of our work would not achieve the desired results if it is not formalized into a binding legal instrument. In our view, a legally binding instrument, such as a protocol instrument, signifies the highest form of commitment by governments and contributes greatly to the certainty and mutual trust needed to achieve the convention's ultimate objective.
18. We therefore welcomed and were encouraged by the focused and visible discussion on legal options under agenda item five, taking forward our progress achieved in Cancun and in Bonn. The mutual interest by most countries for a continued discussion on the eventual legal forms of our work in the LCA is welcome by Fiji.
Further discussion on our direction into Durban, as well as a deepened and updated understanding on Article 17 proposals, including the AOSIS twin protocol proposal, will help parties achieve greater clarity on how to craft the Bali pillars in the form of legally binding outcomes.
19. In closing Mr. Chairman, I wish to reiterate the need for consistency in Fiji's Representation to the Climate Change Negotiation process. Fiji cannot afford a stop start approach; we will only stand to exhibit a bewildered existence along the corridors of talks if we do not approach these negotiations with conviction and consistency.
20. Finally Mr. Chair, I thank you for your efforts, this Climate Change Country Team is a good sounding board and is the most credible and appropriate forum for the formulation of our National Position, I wish you well and I look forward to your continued guidance in the work of this Committee.
Ministry of Foreign Affairs P. O. Box 2220 Government Buildings Suva, Fiji