Tarawa Climate Change Conference

Kiribati to host world climate forum

Press Release – His Excellency the President of Kiribati Mr Anote Tong is pleased to host the next session of the Climate Vulnerable Forum, designated the Tarawa Climate Change Conference, which will be held in Tarawa, the capital of the atoll nation of Kiribati, from the 9th to the 11th November.  The conference will bring together selected representatives from the key negotiating groups within the UNFCCC process to attend a one day high level conference on climate change.

The Climate Vulnerable Forum was initiated by the Republic of the Maldives in 2009 to bring together countries that were particularly susceptible to the adverse impacts of climate change to discuss ways in which they could proactively prepare for and address these impacts.  This included an initiative to provide input to the wider climate change debate that was hoped would culminate in a conclusion that would be legally binding to all parties to the convention in Copenhagen at the end of 2009.

It is now widely acknowledged that the Conference of the Parties in Copenhagen was not able to produce the outcomes that were expected in regards to addressing the substantive issues of climate change at the global level. Primarily it fell short in producing an agreement that could be binding on the part of all Parties to the Convention. As such, global attention is now turning to Cancun at the end of the year to facilitate such an agreement; however, the reality to date suggests there is little evidence that this will be realized.

Nevertheless it is important to realize that there has been some progress in global negotiations since Copenhagen and it is now necessary to maintain any momentum that has been gained. It is to this end that the Climate Vulnerable Forum continues to highlight and consolidate those points that can be agreed upon in the next Conference of the Parties. Should these points not be able to be translated into action in the immediate term, they must continue to feature in the global negotiations process and lead the way forward towards a future agreement.

The ultimate purpose of the TCCC is to agree on these points of common interest between key negotiating groups and forge a path in which Parties to the UNFCCC can move towards action in addressing the impacts of climate change on the most vulnerable states.  This is in recognition of the fact that progress is required on the ground to address the impacts that are already felt and are expected to worsen with time. Consequently it is important that while discussions are ongoing on the main points of difference, these should not prevent what can be agreed and acted upon now.

For more information, contact: Mr Michael Foon, Tarawa Climate Change Secretariat, Office of Te Beretitenti (President),  P.O.Box 68, Tarawa Republic of Kiribati. Tel: +686 21183, fax:+686 21902 or email: mfoon@ob.gov.ki