Forum SG Henry Puna

Pacific countries will advocate to get the World back on track for a 1.5 net zero future at the upcoming COP28 climate change negotiations to be held later this month in the United Arab Emirates(UAE), says Forum Secretary General, Henry Puna.

“For all of us, today marks another milestone related to a topic close to all our people – climate change.

As of today, 02 November, we are officially 28 days away from the COP 28 opening ceremony on 30 November in the UAE,” Puna told regional media in Rarotonga ahead of the Forum Leaders Meeting this week.

Forum Leaders at their meeting in 2019 in Tuvalu highlighted their concerns for the region’s enduring challenges such as climate change related impacts, coupled with the intensification of geostrategic competition, exacerbating the region’s existing vulnerabilities.

This year, climate change will be on the agenda for the Forum Leaders.

Puna said that the Pacific priorities and messages would be taken to the COP28 negotiations in Dubai.

“28 days honouring 28 years of our collective Pacific advocacy journey to get the world back on track for a 1.5 net zero future.”

“I know some of you here are also planning to be there, reporting from the Moana Blue Pacific pavilion and spaces where Prime Minister Mark Brown and a team of Pacific Political Champions on Climate will take our Pacific priorities and messages to the annual COP negotiations,” said SG Puna.

The Pacific region is one of the most vulnerable regions to climate change, with its low-lying island nations facing multiple threats, including sea-level rise, extreme weather events, and ocean acidification.

Cook Islands Director of Climate Change, Wayne King said the region should be looking at a successful global stocktake and climate finance in Dubai.

“There was a declaration to be tabled here at the Forum for the Pacific Leaders. That is not possible just because of time. The Leader’s agenda was already full, so trying to table a declaration is going to be quite complex, negotiation is going to be tough, so we are not going to do that.

“The region should be looking at Agreement on Loss and Damage funding. We’ve just concluded a meeting to discuss all recommendations to the COP about that fund. We are on track that we’ve got in that document things are important to the Pacific and SIDS are referenced,” King told PACNEWS

About 70, 000 delegates from around the world are expected to participate over the two weeks’ negotiation at COP28 in Dubai in late November to early December.