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FIJI PARTICIPATES AT CLIMATE CHANGE MEETING
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs & International Cooperation permanent secretary Mrs Saipora Mataikabara joins 3,000 participants from 181 countries, including government delegates, representatives from business and industry, environmental organizations and research institutions at negotiations under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the Kyoto Protocol which runs from the May 14 to 25 2012 in Bonn, Germany.
Diplomats from around the world are meeting in an attempt to reignite long-running climate change negotiations following last year'sDurban Summit. The two week-long talks represent the first formal meeting of climate change negotiators since the 11th hour agreement of the "Durban Platform for Enhanced Action" – a deal hailed by the UN as a "remarkable new phase" in global efforts to tackle climate change.
The Durban Platform committed all countries to work towards a new legally-binding treaty or an "agreed outcome with legal force" that would deliver deep emission cuts capable of limiting global temperature rises. Under the terms of the agreement, the new deal has to be finalised by 2015 and enacted by 2020. At the same time, the Kyoto Protocol will be extended for a number of signature countries beyond its scheduled cut off at the end of this year, while non-signature countries will agree to the voluntary emission management plans they signed up to as part of the 2010 Cancun Summit. The deal brokered in Durban also included a host of broader agreements, including commitments to set up a new Adaptation Committee, accelerate plans to deliver $100bn a year of climate-related funding to developing countries by 2020, expand carbon trading schemes such as the Clean Development Mechanism, and deliver progress on tackling emissions from aviation and shipping.
The next two weeks are expected to focus on thrashing out the detail surrounding the various agreements reached in Durban. In particular, diplomats will be tasked with developing a timeline for the new Durban Platform to ensure a binding agreement is reached by 2015, establishing which countries will sign on to a new Kyoto commitment period and how the extended treaty will work, and finalising the membership and remit for the new adaptation committee.
During the opening session on Monday the executive secretary of UNFCCC Christiana Figueres called for efforts to turn political decisions into action to address the climate change.
"Durban was a turning point, where governments agreed on tasks and timelines that give the best chance of avoiding the worst of future climate change. We now need to maintain the momentum, to constantly keep turning political decisions into action”, Ms Figueres said.
Figueres cited new research which predicted Earth's temperature rising by as much as five degrees Celsius (41 degrees Fahrenheit) from pre-industrial levels on current pledges, instead of the 2 C limit being targeted.
"We still have a gap remaining between intent and effort," Figueres said.
There has been much debate about how much proportional responsibility the rich and poor world should bear for curbing greenhouse gases.
"All countries have a responsibility to do their fair share, particularly those with the largest historical emissions," the Alliance of Small Island States, which Fiji is a member of, said in a statement.
Representing Fiji at the meeting in addition to Mrs Mataikabara is the Conservator of Forests Mr Samuela Lagataki and the Counselor at Fiji’s UN Mission in New York Mr Luke Daunivalu.
Fiji became a party to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in 1992. Cabinet approved the Framework Climate Change Policy for Fiji in 2007 and a National Climate Change Policy (NCCP) on 19th February 2012. The Permanent Secretary for Foreign Affairs & International Cooperation is the National Focal Point in Fiji for the UNFCCC.