The One Pacific are this week reviewing the outcomes of the world’s largest climate change negotiations platform and preparing for the next steps on the 2024 journey through the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) negotiations.

The UNFCCC’s 28th Conference of the Parties (COP28) in Dubai, United Arab Emirates last year was the biggest of its kind, with more than 80,000 participants in attendance, including 150 Heads of State and Government.

For the Pacific it was one of the many steps on their voyage for survival in the face of climate change impacts.

This week the Pacific Small Island Developing States (PSIDS) Post-COP28 Analysis Workshop is underway, led by the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP), in collaboration with members of the Council of Regional Organisations of the Pacific and Climate Analytics.

Held virtually from 27-29 February 2024, the workshop brings together Pacific negotiators to assess outcomes, address challenges, and capitalise on successes and limitations from Dubai. The workshop also offers a platform to showcase effective Pacific engagement strategies and identify key priorities in the lead up to the 60th Sessions of the UNFCCC Subsidiary Bodies and COP29, to be held in Baku, Azerbaijan.

“Thank you to all for holding the line in Dubai. While we did not come away with all our asks, we continue to keep the fight for 1.5 to stay alive because we live on the frontlines of the impacts of climate change,” said Tagaloa Cooper, Director of Climate Change Resilience of SPREP.

“It is therefore crucial that we continue to work towards our common goals in cohesion to ensure the survival of our Pacific people and future generations. SPREP and the One CROP will continue to stand with you in this journey as we strive for the 1.5 goal for survival.”

The unified One Pacific Voice amplified at COP28 with the support of SPREP and One CROP, culminated in just over 400 delegates. COP28 saw some positive outcomes for the Pacific as well as disappointment when the concluding deal was finalised and gavelled while members of the Small Island Developing States were not in the room.

Chair of the Pacific Small Islands Developing States and representative for Vanuatu, Nelson Kalo echoed this in his remarks, “our PSIDS negotiators can feel proud of their efforts negotiating across the thematic priority areas at COP28 aided by the core coordinating support of our OneCROP colleagues despite having much smaller delegations than most of our negotiating partners”.

Priority thematic areas at COP28 included Global Stocktake (GST), Climate Finance, Adaptation, Mitigation, Loss and Damage, Article 6, Transparency and Reporting, Research and Systematic Observation, Just Transition, Capacity Building and Technology, Agriculture, Gender and Oceans. A PSIDS Coordinator, OneCROP Lead and OneCROP Support person was allocated to follow each of the thematic priorities. Over the course of the Post-COP workshop, the PSIDS Coordinators shared on key outcomes from COP28 and priorities for their allocated priority area in preparation for COP29.

Kalo highlighted some of the successes for the Pacific at COP28, noting “our negotiators worked effectively and successfully to ensure our Pacific voices and priorities are embedded in many decisions finalised at COP28. For example, we fought hard alongside our Alliance of Small Islands Developing States (AOSIS) partners to hold the line on our key COP28 priorities like the operationalisation of the Loss and Damage Fund and ensuring a GST outcome that for the first time recognised the need for the world to transition away from fossil fuels”.

“However, we are also aware of the areas where further work is required, and by no means will this be an easy task. In 2024, we will continue to encounter the same challenges we faced in the lead up to and during COP28 and we will likely have to navigate our way through a whole new set of challenges. Despite this I am sure that our willingness to work together, discuss, reflect and chart our path to COP29, will mean that as a collective we can overcome any challenges that 2024 may present,” said Kalo.

The workshop is the first in a series of preparatory sessions and training programmes coordinated by SPREP with the OneCROP that will be carried out during 2024 in to prepare PSIDS for COP29.

The Post-COP28 Analysis Workshop was held virtually from 27-29 February 2024, and was attended by Cook Islands, Fiji, Niue, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tuvalu and Vanuatu.

This event supports Pacific countries through the collaborative partnership between SPREP and Climate Analytics, complemented by the International Climate Change Engagement project funded by the Government of Australia. The objective of this contribution is to support the Pacific’s engagement in international climate change discussions with the aim for regional action informing international policy.