The President of Kiribati, a tiny island nation in the Pacific at danger of disappearing if sea levels rise, says he is quite appreciative of Australia’s “quite active” part at the Paris climate talks.
President Anote Tong, an outspoken advocate for international action on climate adjust, mentioned the agreement reached at the COP21 summit was a “main achievement”.
“It is a quite optimistic step forward and of course, what was most gratifying was the position of the nations that we had thought would have taken a quite damaging position,” he told the ABC’s The Planet plan.
All 195 countries that attended the summit authorized the agreement, which aims to limit temperature increases to well beneath two degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels.
The agreement also references the “urgent need to have” to pursue efforts to limit the temperature enhance to 1.5C.
The text does not mandate particular measures or targets. As an alternative, it creates a program for making certain nations make good on voluntary domestic efforts to curb emissions.
Foreign Minister Julie Bishop stated the deal was an essential step forward, but it has been criticised by some Liberal MPs.
President Tong, who is in Morocco for yet another round of climate talks, stated it was “definitely essential” that leaders followed by means of on the targets agreed upon in Paris.
“I think it is definitely essential. Of course, it’s component of the purpose why we are here in Morocco, to go over possibly what must be coming up at the next meeting, how the commitments that have been produced from Paris could be followed up and how they can be translated into concrete action,” he said.
“There was extremely clear acknowledgement of the special circumstances of the most vulnerable nations on the front line of climate adjust.
“We are hoping that in spite of the lack of clarity in the wording, there is this really clear understanding that if it comes to building up climate resilience and adaptation and just recovery, we are hopeful that the countries that made a commitment will provide.”
President Tong pleased the ‘miracle did happen’
Countries such as Kiribati and Fiji have lengthy argued for a 1.5C cap to make certain their countries survive extreme weather events and increasing sea levels, whilst industrial nations have favoured the 2C limit.
President Tong said the summit’s adoption of the 1.5C target was a victory.
“I feel [at] the begin of the discussions, fairly a number of countries did not go for the 1.5C boost, but by the end of the discussions … the miracle did take place,” he told The Planet.
“Even Australia, we felt, was supporting that. The atmosphere and perhaps the chairmanship, the presidency at the conference, was of course extremely instrumental.
“But Australia was quite active, we noted that. And of course the US, and a number of other countries that initially have been a bit negative.”
Negotiators have stated the long-term push by island nations was instrumental in bringing the 1.5C target to prominence.
Australia signed on to the 1.5 target when it cut a deal with St Lucia, a Caribbean island nation, to back the target in exchange for getting allowed to carry over its savings from the Kyoto Protocol.
President Tong mentioned the agreement, if followed by means of, will mean future Kiribatians will have a future.
“I feel we must be cautious in becoming too sceptical by what has taken spot,” he stated.
“I think it really is been quite, really significant and it sets the bottom line — it establishes the basis of the foundation of what future behaviour on energy must be.
“I know we did not get one hundred per cent of what it was that we went for, but nonetheless I feel what is happened … in the circumstances, could not have been better.”
Topics: climate-change, atmosphere, foreign-affairs, government-and-politics, planet-politics, kiribati
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