The Cook Islands has taken a delegation of 15 people to a major Climate Change Conference in Egypt, but is still remaining schtum on how much it is costing.
The delegation to
the 27th annual United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP 27),
which starts on November 6, is being led by Prime Minister Mark Brown, with PM’s
Office chief of staff Ben Ponia assisting.
The United Nations
Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCC) negotiations will be led by
Wayne King, the director for Climate Change Office at the Office of the Prime
A Government spokesperson
told Cook Islands News that the delegation also includes officials and
consultants from the OPM Climate Change Office and OPM Central Policy and
Planning Office, officials from Ministry for Finance and Economic Management
(MFEM) Development Coordination Division, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and
Immigration (MFAI) Secretary Tepaeru Herrmann and officials.
“Around 15 persons
(including international consultants) are in the Cook Islands delegation, with
the majority of them having been funded by development partners and regional
funding streams,” the spokesperson said.
South Pacific Regional Environment Programme, Pacific Youth Council, UN Climate
Convention, Women Environment and Development Organisation, self-funding,
Alliance of Small Island States, Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat. All these
organisations are paying full costs for the attendance of 13 people.”
spokesperson would not say how much the trip and the delegation cost either the
organisations or the Government.
“The PM will
attend the High-Level Segment of the COP27 during which he will address the
delegates through a national statement,” the spokesperson said.
“As the Pacific
Islands Forum regional champion for climate financing, he will also participate
in a high-level roundtable discussion on climate financing.”
said the primary objective of COP 27 is to uphold the global commitment under
the Paris Agreement of 2015 to ensure that global temperature rise does not
exceed 1.5 degrees Celsius.
“Under the current
emission trends this temperature threshold will almost certainly be exceeded,
this poses an existential threat to the Cook Islands, particularly those living
on our low-lying atolls,” the spokesperson said.
“The PM will also
advocate for the leaders of our global economy to begin the transition away
from fossil fuels and support the Cook Islands as we begin our journey to
explore our deep-sea minerals as a new source for clean renewable energy, that
will ultimately help save our planet.”
The spokesperson said
the Cook Islands “is at this COP to link our advocacy as above to the role we
have as a party to the Climate Convention and Paris Agreement, with our role
through the Prime Minister as a Pacific Regional Climate Champion on climate
finance and his role as the incoming Forum leaders host in 2023”.