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Cook Islands to join global climate change talks in Peru

Friday 28 November 2014 | Published in Environment

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Cook Islands to join global climate change talks in Peru
The Cook Islands will be joining over 15,000 delegates at the 20th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in Lima, Peru from 1 to 12 December this year. 14112746

he Cook Islands will be joining over 15,000 delegates at the 20th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in Lima, Peru from 1 to 12 December this year. The annual gathering that brings together all Parties to negotiate a global agreement on climate change is of strong significance for the Pacific islands who collectively contribute to less than 0.03 per cent of the world's total greenhouse gas emissions however are amongst the most vulnerable to the impacts. The Cook Islands is amongst these. "We have several key agenda items that we will be following," said Ms. Ana Tiraa, Head of the Climate Change Division and the Cook Islands delegation attending the UNFCCC COP 20. "This coming conference is very complex with many different agenda threads all being negotiated at the same time, but for us we have very specific issues to follow, issues which impact our nation directly." Loss and Damage, Climate Change Financing, Adaptation and the Ad hoc Working Group on the Durban Platform for Enhanced Action will be followed by the Cook Islands delegation. The members consist of Ana Tiraa, Office of the Prime Minister, Amelia Fukofuka, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Immigration and Lavinia Tama, Ministry of Finance and Economic Management residing on Rarotonga. They will be joined by Cook Islanders residing in Samoa working for the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP) - Diane McFadzien, Ewan Cameron and Nanette Woonton. Also to make up the delegation is Linda Siegele who has provided technical assistance to the delegation for many years. "These agenda issues we will be negotiating on behalf of the Cook Islands may just seem like technical terminology however they have real implications on our people. Loss and Damage for example looks at impacts from extreme weather events and slow onset events such as sea level rise and ocean acidification," said Tiraa. "These are impacts we feel but we are not the cause of them, so we are negotiating how best we can be accommodated for our loss caused now and losses that are to come as well as how to stop it from happening." Another important agenda item followed by the Cook Islands is the Ad hoc Working Group on the Durban Platform for Enhanced Action also known as the ADP. This is a new body under the climate change Convention to develop a protocol, another legal instrument or an agreed outcome with legal force applicable to all Parties that will help slow climate change. This new agreement will be considered for adoption by Parties at the 21st Conference of the Parties to be held in Paris 2015. The upcoming negotiations in Lima are important as it sets the foundation for Paris. "Having the Cook Islands in the room when these issues are being negotiated is important for our survival, we must persevere and be hopeful. “While the results aren't immediate you must remember that climate change isn't immediate also - the impacts we are feeling now are from greenhouse gas emissions from over a hundred years ago. “We must persevere to negotiate favourable outcomes for us all." The 20th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change is hosted in Lima, Peru from 1 - 12 December. For more information please visit www.unfccc.int

he Cook Islands will be joining over 15,000 delegates at the 20th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in Lima, Peru from 1 to 12 December this year. The annual gathering that brings together all Parties to negotiate a global agreement on climate change is of strong significance for the Pacific islands who collectively contribute to less than 0.03 per cent of the world's total greenhouse gas emissions however are amongst the most vulnerable to the impacts. The Cook Islands is amongst these. "We have several key agenda items that we will be following," said Ms. Ana Tiraa, Head of the Climate Change Division and the Cook Islands delegation attending the UNFCCC COP 20. "This coming conference is very complex with many different agenda threads all being negotiated at the same time, but for us we have very specific issues to follow, issues which impact our nation directly." Loss and Damage, Climate Change Financing, Adaptation and the Ad hoc Working Group on the Durban Platform for Enhanced Action will be followed by the Cook Islands delegation. The members consist of Ana Tiraa, Office of the Prime Minister, Amelia Fukofuka, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Immigration and Lavinia Tama, Ministry of Finance and Economic Management residing on Rarotonga. They will be joined by Cook Islanders residing in Samoa working for the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP) - Diane McFadzien, Ewan Cameron and Nanette Woonton. Also to make up the delegation is Linda Siegele who has provided technical assistance to the delegation for many years. "These agenda issues we will be negotiating on behalf of the Cook Islands may just seem like technical terminology however they have real implications on our people. Loss and Damage for example looks at impacts from extreme weather events and slow onset events such as sea level rise and ocean acidification," said Tiraa. "These are impacts we feel but we are not the cause of them, so we are negotiating how best we can be accommodated for our loss caused now and losses that are to come as well as how to stop it from happening." Another important agenda item followed by the Cook Islands is the Ad hoc Working Group on the Durban Platform for Enhanced Action also known as the ADP. This is a new body under the climate change Convention to develop a protocol, another legal instrument or an agreed outcome with legal force applicable to all Parties that will help slow climate change. This new agreement will be considered for adoption by Parties at the 21st Conference of the Parties to be held in Paris 2015. The upcoming negotiations in Lima are important as it sets the foundation for Paris. "Having the Cook Islands in the room when these issues are being negotiated is important for our survival, we must persevere and be hopeful. “While the results aren't immediate you must remember that climate change isn't immediate also - the impacts we are feeling now are from greenhouse gas emissions from over a hundred years ago. “We must persevere to negotiate favourable outcomes for us all." The 20th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change is hosted in Lima, Peru from 1 - 12 December. For more information please visit www.unfccc.int


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