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UN climate talks set for good ending: Fiji
3:17 pm GMT+12, 14/11/2017, Germany

 Fiji appears likely to finish the UN climate talks this week with an agreement on how a year-long discussion should take place that will convince countries to strengthen their emission targets.
 
That might not sound hugely exciting, but in the world of diplomacy it amounts to a significant win.
 
Fijian Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama, who holds the COP23 presidency, intends to announce the final design for what is now known as the Talanoa dialogue at the conference's final session on Friday.
 
“There has been widespread consensus among all parties ... (and) we will look forward to delivering throughout next year in the talanoa spirit of respectful cooperation, devoid of finger-pointing,” he told reporters in Bonn on Sunday.
 
The 2015 Paris deal included a five-yearly global stocktake when countries should assess what progress is being made and how their national targets for emissions reduction and adaptation need to increase.
 
With the agreement coming into effect in 2020, the first such stocktake is set down for 2023.
 
But all agree ambitions need to increase much sooner than that if the world is to have any chance of achieving the aim of limiting global warming to between 1.5 and 2 degrees.
 
A UN report released in October showed that the world is currently on track to warm by 3 degrees.
 
With urgency of action in mind, the agreement also called for a "facilitative dialogue" in 2018 to get an early idea of how the world and individual countries are tracking.
 
As Fiji holds the presidency from now until the COP24 in December 2018 when Poland assumes responsibility, it will oversee that process, which it wants to follow the Pacific tradition of “talanoa”.
 
Fiji's chief negotiator  Ambassador Nazhat Shameem Khan describes this as an inclusive process of constructive engagement and storytelling that leads to decisions being made for the collective good.
 
“In order to achieve higher ambition ... we really need to have a very constructive conversation," she told reporters.
 
“There's really no point in sitting in a room and saying 'well you could have done better' because actually, we know, at the end of the world, everybody could have done better.”
 
Fiji's proposal involves meetings next May for leaders, experts and environmental groups to discuss where the world is now, where it wants to go, and how it gets to that goal.
 
Then, at COP24, ministers and leaders will have discussions which inform their country's preparation of updated Paris targets.
 
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change expert scientific report on the impacts of 1.5 degrees warming, due next October, will also feed into the discussions.
 
Since work on the talks needs to start as soon as possible, many countries including Australia see getting an agreement this week on their structure as very important.
 
Senior EU official Elina Bardram described it as a “very significant deliverable” while environmental group WWF said it would leave Fiji with a good legacy.
 
“The Talanoa dialogue, from our point of view, will be the landmark of this COP which will pave the way for parties to raise ambition,” WWF Japan climate and energy head Naoyuki Yamagishi told AAP.

SOURCE: AAP/PACNEWS


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