We are not ready, says Bainimarama

Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama speaking at the opening session of the Climate Meet in Bangkok. Picture: Supplied/ UNFCCC

“IN three months’ time we will be in Katowice (Poland) and frankly, we are not ready.”

These were the words of Prime Minister and COP23 president Voreqe Bainimarama during his address to climate negotiators at a climate meeting in Bangkok, Thailand on Monday for an extra session to make progress on the Paris Agreement Implementation Guidelines.

“I think we all know that we have not progressed far enough, which is why we are here in what we are calling an ‘additional’ negotiating session,” Mr Bainimarama said.

“But it is not just an additional session; it is an urgent session. Without implementation guidelines that everyone can live with, we risk chaos at Katowice and the possibility of yet another delay in the urgent work of combatting climate change.”

The implementation guidelines are the details that will determine how the Paris Agreement works in practice.

They address how countries will communicate, report, review and strengthen climate action in line with their capabilities.

“Our main task at COP24 is to agree on a package of decisions that will ensure the full implementation of the Paris Agreement,” he said.

“Our work in COP23 and throughout this year is essential to that goal. It is our responsibility — and I use that term purposely — to agree on implementation guidelines. They form the roadmap that will allow us to get to those decisions.

“Every nation now needs to make decisions that might be politically difficult. But that is why we were chosen to lead because leaders do the hard work, make the hard decisions for the common good, and defend them.”

Mr Bainimarama also urged the negotiators to work in good faith with each other and reach out across natural divides.

“Find common ground. Let us keep our eyes firmly on the common good. And then let us come together to reach consensus. If we do all those things, we will leave Bangkok proud that we have come closer to fulfilling our responsibility.”

More Stories