Thursday, 8 December 2011

Press Statement: Tokelau at UNFCCC COP 17

Ulu o Tokelau, Hon. Foua Toloa addresses the room

Durban, South Africa, 7 December, 2011 - Tokelau is present at the COP 17 as part of NZ’s delegation. We associate ourselves with others who have called for clear outcomes in Durban to have a legally binding agreement of emission pledges from all countries. Additionally, COP17 should resolve to immediately operationalise adequate, sustainable and timely resources to urgently address national needs to mitigate and adapt to climate change.

We are here to convey the message that nowhere in all of these meetings, has Tokelau been able to have a voice in the policy development for adaptation and mitigation for climate change. We are part of that group of vulnerable nations most affected by climate change and yet do not have a presence within the formal discussions at the COP sessions and in the case of Tokelau, we are ineligible for Global Environment Facility funding.

However, Tokelau is acting responsibly and doing her part in mitigating for the impact of climate change. Despite our vulnerabilities, we are taking action.

By September 2012, Tokelau will be the first nation to be 100 per cent renewable energy (solar and coconut oil) efficient thereby fulfilling its global obligation. Tokelau will be number 1 in per-person reduction in greenhouse gas emissions in the Pacific and the world.

The establishment of this renewable energy system will cost Tokelau $8.5 million of which $7m has been advanced against our future core budget by NZ and we are seeking funds to complete this portion of the project. Tokelau hopes it will be eligible to apply under the new funding mechanism, the Green Climate Fund currently being designed at COP17.

Tokelau is challenging the world in Durban to match or better the renewable energy targets we have set and will achieve by September 2012.

We cannot sit by and pity ourselves that we are amongst one of the first countries to go under water – the smallest and the lowest. We can make a difference and begin to do something about it today.

As stated by the Ulu o Tokelau, Hon. Foua Toloa at COP 17, Durban, South Africa. For any other clarifications contact Jovilisi Suveinakama, +6857771820

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