Tuvalu PM Expresses Support For Outcomes Of Paris Climate Deal

admin's picture

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

Sopoaga ‘proud’ of ‘Loss and Damage’ clause included

By Timoci Vula

SUVA, Fiji (Fiji Times, Feb. 18, 2016) – The loss and damage clause in the Paris Agreement on climate change is a reasonable outcome.

And while Tuvaluan Prime Minister Enele Sopoaga disagreed with critics who said Pacific Island leaders gave away too much with that "compensation clause", he said still having access to compensatory actions outside of the agreement was substantially positive.

"We should be proud of the outcome on Loss and Damage. There was very strong pressure to have Loss and Damage excluded from the Paris Agreement," Mr Sopoaga told participants, experts and stakeholders included, at the post-COP 21 Paris Agreement climate change forum in Suva on Tuesday.

"This is not a mean feat. We worked hard to get the whole G77 and China position on Loss and Damage. To get all developing countries, particularly China, to support our position on Loss and Damage is exceptional."

The agreement on "compensation" makes reference to emergency preparedness, slow onset events, risk insurance and resilience of communities.

The decision accompanying the agreement makes reference to displacement, and he said while the Pacific did not get the displacement facility, it still gave a pathway to address this critical issue.

"It is now up to us to develop a regional response to Loss and Damage," Mr Sopoaga said.

Last year, Pacific leaders put aside the strategy for resilient development in the Pacific. He said this was a wise move, reasoning it was a premature document that did not properly consider the possible outcomes in Paris.

"We must start again and build a strong regional response to Loss and Damage," Mr Sopoaga said.

"Critically, it must be a climate change strategy and not one that confuses mandates and responsibilities with other natural disaster agenda.

"I certainly hope there will be a total regional rethink to addressing Loss and Damage. I stand ready to support that in any way I can. Loss and Damage is our part of the Paris Agreement. We must take the lead in steering it towards properly addressing the critical needs of the most vulnerable."

European Union ambassador to Fiji and the Pacific Andrew Jacobs said one of the main aspects of the agreement for the EU was its solidarity package, which included notable provisions on climate finance and addressing needs linked to adaptation and loss and damage from climate change effects.

Rate this article: 
No votes yet

Add new comment