Exsley Taloiburi, SPC Deputy Director for the Disaster and Community Resilience Programme.

By Pita Ligaiula at COP28 in Dubai

Pacific Small Island Developing States (SIDS) brace for an uphill battle as a key negotiator issues a warning about remaining unresolved issues and financial hurdles as COP28 negotiations pass midway.

Exsley Taloiburi, SPC Deputy Director for the Disaster and Community Resilience Programme, in a media briefing in Dubai gave an update on the state of play of the ongoing COP28 negotiations.

“We’re halfway through the negotiations and Wednesday, we closed the plenary for the subsidiary bodies. We’ve made some progress, but there’s a lot that remains unresolved.”

“First, the global stocktake – a crucial matter for us in the Pacific. We’re aiming for a clear pathway to enhance nationally determined contributions, aligning with the 1.5 degrees Celsius goal. However, there’s no agreement yet on the draft text. We’ll resume negotiations tomorrow(Friday), and the latest draft isn’t showing the expected progress.

“This is likely to be the main outcome of COP28, framing the covered decision around the global stocktake,” Taloiburi said.

On finance, he said a make-or-break element for Pacific SIDS.

“We need finance for adaptation and mitigation, but there are 18 agenda items running in parallel. The US$100 billion commitment by developed countries, due in 2020, remains unfulfilled.

“Negotiations are ongoing for the new collective quantified goal from 2025 onwards,” said Taloiburi.

The Deputy Director highlighted the Pacific’s push for a physical regional presence for the Green Climate Fund(GCF)office.
“Transportation costs are crippling, and without a presence, understanding our context becomes a challenge,” he said.

He emphasised the importance of a programmatic approach, criticising the current piecemeal project investments.

“We’re pushing for accountability and a programmatic policy to ensure sustainability.”

Taloiburi didn’t mince words on country-based allocations.

“It’s an open market competition, and smaller nations with less capacity are missing out on their fair share of financing. We’re not near any conclusion on these finance-related issues.

“These issues will likely go down to the wire, and it’ll be up to our high-level representatives to resolve them in the upcoming high-level segment,” he stressed.

Taloiburi’s assessment left no room for misinterpretation – the negotiations were far from a smooth sail, and the Pacific’s concerns were hanging in the balance.