Thursday 10th December 2009 -- The15th Session of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) is a crucial meeting for Fiji. Speaking after the opening of COP 15, Fiji’ Minister of Environment Colonel Samuela Saumatua said that “It is during this two week period where all countries must come together to find the path that will avert the world’s current course towards catastrophic climate change and where we will decide the course upon which humanity will judge us for years to come,” he said.
Fiji like the other Small Islands Developing States (SIDS) enters the meeting with the conviction that NO amount of money can resurrect what has submerged or reverse the devastating effects of natural disasters and the impacts of climate change in the Pacific.
“The expectations that Fiji and other small island states carry to these negotiations are ambitious. They are ambitious because they need to be.” “We want a legally binding agreement that binds parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) especially the major carbon emitters, and not only parties to the Kyoto Protocol. For Fiji and
the Pacific, the success of this meeting will be a framework which will address our concerns and our needs. “Our expectations for these agreements are that they incorporate the key
principles that ensure the delivery of results that are necessary to reduce the impacts of climate change,” Colonel Saumatua said. Having said this, it is important to note that any legally binding agreement must display environmental integrity and bring into effect the emissions
reductions required to ensure the survival of small island states everywhere.
According to Colonel Saumatua any legal outcome must give special recognition to the particular vulnerabilities of small islands such as the lack of financial resources, technology and human capacity to respond to climate change; as well as the openness of the economies and the high physical vulnerability to extreme events like tropical cyclones. The Fiji Delegation is led by Prime Minister Commodore Frank Bainimarama who will arrive in Copenhagen next week for the high level segment of the Conference.--ENDS
for many aspects of the climate change process,the Copenhagen meeting is not simply another round of negotiations, it is the destination.