By Pita Ligaiula at COP28 in Dubai, UAE
As COP28 in Dubai moving towards its conclusion next week, negotiators are in a critical phase, scrambling to secure key agreements before the deadline.
In an update on the state of play from the Pacific Islands Forum Programme Adviser for Resilient Development Finance, Karlos Lee Moresi, provided insights into the ongoing discussions, focusing on the Finance agenda.
“We’re coming up to the hot end of the negotiation – some negotiators were in the room until 2.30 this morning,” Moresi said.
The Finance agenda, saw discussions on various items, including the new quantified goal, guidance to financial mechanisms, and the long-term finance goal, which currently stands at the existing US$100 billion goal.
Moresi highlighted concerns from smaller states, including those in the Pacific Islands, regarding access to funds.
“Arguments from our side centered around maintaining our special circumstances – the most vulnerable, most impacted by the effects of climate change,” he emphasised.
The African group also shared these sentiments, supporting for the consideration of special circumstances for developing countries.
However, Moresi pointed out objections from the Pacific Small Island Developing States (PSIDS) and Alliance of Small Island States(OASIS).
“We objected to that kind of language only in the sense that if they’re gonna be special, no one will be special,” he said.
The discussion also probed into the categorisation of countries like China and Singapore, posing challenges to the identification of special circumstances.
Despite the objections, a breakthrough occurred around midnight.
“The language that came around midnight had our special circumstances reflected, specifically mentioned in the text of the convention,” Moresi said.
The text is set to be taken back to the ministerial after a late-night session.
He highlighted the urgency of the negotiations and a sudden push to elevate the discussions to the ministerial level.
The COP28 President expressed concern that negotiations were bogged down in technicalities and want to speed up the process.
The main focus of COP28 is on reaching an agreement on the Global Stocktake (GST).
Moresi said the COP President aiming for a future-looking GST that evaluates the last five years and sets the stage for the next stocktake.
The financial element, a regular source of tension, remains stagnant but holds significant importance for the COP discussions.
Despite the challenges, Moresi expressed confidence in the President’s commitment to pushing through and meeting the designated finishing time of 12 December.
As the negotiations continue, the global community awaits the outcomes of COP28, with the finance agenda at the forefront of discussions.