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Sopoaga confident of 1.5°C agreement

Thursday 10 December 2015 | Published in Regional


Sopoaga confident of 1.5°C agreement
Tuvalu's Enele Sopoaga.

PARIS – The Tuvalu prime minister, Enele Sopoaga, says he is positive the final climate agreement signed in Paris will see a 1.5 degrees Celcius warming limit.

A draft deal was set to be signed late yesterday, but a split remains between some developed and developing countries and some negotiators say that deadline is unlikely to be met.

Sopoaga told Radio New Zealand’s Dateline Pacific it’s vital the agreement includes a stand alone provision for loss and damage, ambitious mitigation targets and a global temperature rise of 1.5 degrees by the end of the century.

“This is our red line that cannot be crossed. We do that or we forget about an agreement or even a decision out of COP 21.

“This is our red line. I must say that there is good will and there is almost a convergence of strong support to be as ambitious as possible – not less than below 1.5 degrees Celcius has been well advocated and supported by Pacific small island developing states, LCDs, G77 including China, and also with great encouragement the European Union and like minded countries.”

DATELINE PACIFIC: We are hearing about a split between developing and developed nations. Can you elaborate on that? Between those obviously who have done all their industrialising, and those who are still in the process.

“I think it’s a matter of life and survival for the majority of developing countries. And of course we are not rewriting the convention for the climate change.

“We are trying to get a deal that can operationalise the convention in accordance with the objective and principles of the convention.

“Therefore there is of course the need to recognise developing and developed countries as in the convention. But in particular the unique vulnerabilities, circumstances of small island developing states which is in the convention.

“And this is what we are also trying to work out. I don’t think these differences are insurmountable. This is something that is almost possible to do. They are doable and I think there is good will to try and converge.

DATELINE PACIFIC: Even despite hearing some countries are pushing things right to the limit, are you confident there will be a deal that satisfies the countries you represent, there will be a deal struck?

“We are calling on New Zealand to do more, to commit more, and join the global converging consensus that is emerging. I think it would be quite unfortunate if this was not coming forth.

“The Pacific island countries are working closely with like-minded countries. Unfortunately New Zealand is not joining this. We appreciate what has been put on the table but we expect more.” - RNZI