Search for common ground at Kiribati climate change talks | Pacific Beat

Search for common ground at Kiribati climate change talks

Search for common ground at Kiribati climate change talks

Updated 15 February 2012, 13:01 AEDT

The speaker of Kiribati Parliament has called for the 18 countries taking part in the Tarawa Climate Change talks to reach a concensus and agree on common goals.

The meeting ahead of the Cancun global summitt features delegates from vulnerable countries and some of the world's major economies.

Presenter: Evan Wasuka

Taomati Iuta, Speaker of Kiribati; Andrew Tem, Kiribati's senior policy advisor; Temaia Mackenzie, Kiribati National Council of Churches.

WASUKA:If there is one thing that Kiribati government wants the Tarawa Climate Change Conference to achieve, that would be to be a find a common ground.

The Kiribati government says its vital that a common ground is found between vulnerable countries and the major economies in the build up, to UN Climate Change talks in Cancun.

The Kiribati speaker of parliament Taomati Iuta in welcoming the delegates to Tarowa called for strong political will, to find this common ground.

TAOMATI IUTA: I am aware of the many issues that you will be discussing in tomorrow's agenda and that most of you will already have a pre-conceived idea of where this will lead. However, I also feel that together we can come to some agreement on areas that can be brought up to the next conference of the parties in Mexico, later in the year, so that those most vulnerable among the rest can begin to address the impacts of climate change affecting their countries.

WASUKA: Kiribati's senior policy advisor Andrew Tem says while the Climate Change Talks at Copenhagen last year fell apart because of differences between countries.

This year they're hoping for a better outcome by focusing here in Tarawa on the similarities between countries, rather than the differences.

ANDREW TEM: The main aim for the Tarawa conference is to come up with common points within the negotiations, within the umbrella, within the United Nations framework, and hopefully bring out those points that can be agreed on in Cancun. It's in the details that needs to be agreed upon and it's the details that still need to be worked out. But very broadly there is enough consensus among the various groupings within the UNFCC on those issues such as financing, adaptation, capacity building and technology transfer.

WASUKA: The Kiribati government is hopeful that by having delegates witness how vulnerable, countries like Kiribati are to climate change, this will have a softening effect on the stance taken by the major economies.

ANDREW TEM: I am hoping that they have a good opportunity to look around and see for themselves the nature of the vulnerability that we are faced with, so I hope that the experience here, what they see will make them realise why it is that we keep pushing the positions that we've been advocating throughout the years in the negotiations.

WASUKA: While the Kiribati government has been promoting conciliatory talks the NGO's and civil society groups have been pushing a harder line by calling for action.

One of the big groups backing climate change awareness has been the churches.

Temaia MacKenzie of the Kiribati National Council of Churches say industrialised nations must take responsibility for climate change.

TEMAIA MACKENZIE: We call upon the industrial countries of the world to drastically reduce their greenhouse gas emissions by 45 per cent from 1990 levels by 2015 and to generously support the adaptation front to assure that we able to adapt to the rapid changes caused by climate change. We also call for the support of industrial countries in developing and promoting renewable energy sources in Kiribati, Oceania and the rest of the world.

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