Tuvalu PM Says Paris Negotiations Require Vigilant Attention

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Pacific Islands Development Program, East-West Center With Support From Center for Pacific Islands Studies, University of Hawai‘i

Sopoaga encourages Pacific to remain engaged to get what it wants

By Elenoa Baselala In Paris

SUVA, Fiji (Fiji Times, Dec. 3, 2015) – Tuvalu Prime Minister Enele Sopoaga has urged all Pacific Islanders to be present and vigilant as negotiations for the Paris Declaration continue.

Following the world leaders' statements on Monday, Mr Sopoaga said the most critical parts of the summit were the negotiating sessions.

"This is the most important part and it will get harder," Mr Sopoaga added.

He urged the Pacific negotiators to not even blink an eye because "by the time you open your eyes, a paragraph would have been deleted."

The Prime Minister yesterday relayed how funding was being offered for Least Developed Countries (LDC), which included his country.

"The condition is that we must have climatic proof that whatever we are experiencing is the effect of climate change," he said.

Mr Sopoaga said instead of offering proof, he was inviting donors to his country.

"Come and have a lot of fish and enjoy our beautiful beaches while they are still there," he added.

Mr Sopoaga said the target to keep global warming at two degrees was rather a target to save the rich economies and that the Pacific should not accept that.

With one degree already allowed in existing agreements, the two degrees would take the target to three degree Celsius, which will sink his island.

He said the Pacific must sing the same song and push that the Warsaw Implementation Mechanism (WIM) be part of the COP 21 agreement.

"We have been singing the same song from Rio to Kyoto to Paris.

"We need to take the song out of this room and chorus with others in the coming two weeks to hammer out a legally binding and ambitious climate deal," he added.

WIM has provisions for loss and damage and compensation, which countries such as the US are opposing.

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