‘We have done it’

“WE achieved what we set out to do.”

Those were words of Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama yesterday at the conclusion of COP23.

After a night of tense negotiations around the adaption funds and climate financing, the annual climate change conference closed at 6.55am local time having started almost 24 hours earlier at 8.30am.

Through the night, high level officials, negotiators worked through delays, postponement and what seemed like a deadlock as countries asked for changes to the text on the adaptation funds relation to the Paris Agreement.

Thanking the Fiji delegation for “a job well done”, the PM said the bula spirit was brought into the negotiation room and left behind in Germany.

Some of the causes for celebration included maintaining the strength of adaptation funds to make sure it served the Paris Agreement.

While there had been a push by some countries to change the name of the Talanoa Dialogue to reflect the original name, the facilitative dialogue, this push was thrown out.

A surprising achievement of the COP23 is the Koronivia Joint Work on Agriculture which will facilitate enhancement of adaptation, mitigation and productivity for the sector, with a specific focus on small holder farms.

A jubilant COP23 leader, Mr Bainimarama thanked the people for the achievement of the first ever Pacific Island leadership of the COP.

“I just want to express my gratitude to everyone, here and at home, everybody who had helped,” he said.

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