Pacific COP Announces Talanoa Dialogue, Sets into Motion Paris Agreement

Countries must come to COP24 in 2018 with a signal to step up and enhance their climate targets by 2020

17 November 2017, Bonn: As countries wrapped up discussions at the climate talks here in Bonn, one fact remains undisputed: #ClimateChange is happening, and #ClimateAction cannot wait. In a year marked by devastating losses from climate impacts, and with 2017 seeing a rise in #GlobalEmissions, this Pacific COP brought home the message that climate change continues to threaten the survival of far too many people.

Sanjay Vashist, Director, Climate Action Network South Asia (CANSA), said:

“The 23rd Conference of Parties under Fiji presidency has initiated an important driver of ambition through the Talanoa dialogue and we hope developed countries bring enhanced pre-2020 national climate plans to the 2018 conference in Poland. This is a welcome process and sets the correct course for the negotiations as per the equity principle. However, the efforts of developed countries to sabotage any progress on finance for loss and damage while trying to make business out of distress through insurance for millions affected was disappointing.”

The Talanoa dialogue, an important outcome from this #COP, switches on the ambition ratchet mechanism of the Paris Agreement and sets into motion the climate pact that governments promised to abide by two years ago to keep warming below 1.5°C. Important work began on the guidelines that will support the #ParisAgreement and these need to be defined in 2018 in time for the deadline.

This COP also highlighted that there is appetite for faster and stronger climate action in the near term. A decision to formally anchor pre-2020 discussions in the next climate talks puts immediate pressure on developed countries to do more on increasing ambition in the run up to 2020 and thereafter.

With renewed political will, countries must now collectively assess progress on their national climate plans and come to COP24 in Poland and signal that they intend to step up ambition by 2020 in order to transition to a renewable energy future.

The extraordinary swell of support for climate action by cities, businesses, local leaders and indigenous groups further turns the heat on national governments to do more, and to do it much faster.

These climate talks, presided by a country that is no stranger to dangerous impacts, focused the world’s attention on issues close to those at the forefront of devastating impacts. However, the disappointing outcomes on loss and damage and finance make it clear there is a brutal disconnect between the support developed countries are willing to commit to and the reality of climate impacts people face. Wealthy nations failed to align their promises with concrete actions.

The launch of the Gender Action Plan and the indigenous people’s platform are an integral part of the legacy of this Fiji Presidency.
Looking ahead, the Polish Presidency must take forward the progress made on the implementation guidelines and sustain the strengthened international cooperation on climate action. This can happen if countries such as Canada, Norway, France, UK, Germany and New Zealand step in to offer leadership domestically and internationally.

Krishneil Narayan, Co-ordinator, Pacific Islands Climate Action Network (PICAN), Fiji  said: The Pacific islands region is one of the most vulnerable to climate change. Fiji’s Presidency of COP23 provided an opportunity to emphasise the need for higher ambition in implementing the Paris Agreement to reach the 1.5oC goal. The Bula spirit has been infused and the course set for the Talanoa Dialogue in the coming year. The work done here to operationalise the Local Communities and Indigenous Peoples Platform and adopting the Gender Action Plan is much welcomed. However, a lot more was expected on the outcome of Loss and Damage outcome from this “Pacific COP”. We hope that countries would make full use of the expert dialogue in 2018 to further advance the work on Loss and Damage.