North Pacific negotiators prepare for Paris climate change talks

13 July 2015, Pohnpei
A crucial workshop to prepare three North Pacific nations for their participation in negotiations at the upcoming UN Climate Change Conference opens in Pohnpei today, supported by the Government of Germany.
Senior officials from Palau, Federated States of Micronesia (FSM) and the Republic of the Marshall Islands (RMI) were updated on the current status of climate change negotiations and assisted to analyze the draft Paris treaty text and to prepare proposals for the 21st UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Conference of Parties in Paris (COP 21) by end of this year.
Climate change is a real and serious threat to the livelihoods and sustainable development of Pacific people and the Pacific Islands will continue to call for a significant reduction in the rate of global greenhouse gas emissions to prevent further long term impacts.
The workshop is hosted by the Government of FSM and jointly organized by the Secretariat of the Pacific Community(SPC), Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH, Secretariat of the Pacific Environment Programme (SPREP) and Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat (PIFS).
The UNFCCC process for developing a protocol, another legally-binding instrument or an agreed outcome with legal force under the Convention is complex and challenging for many small states.
European countries, among them Germany, are standing side by side with Pacific Island governments to achieve a positive outcome at the climate change negotiations, the Programme Director and Senior Adviser for GIZ, Dr Wulf Killmann, said.
"The stakes are high for Pacific nations so there's been anticipation in this intensive training for negotiators which complements ongoing financial and technical support to strengthen their resilience against the impacts of climate change," said Dr Killmann, the workshop's moderator.
"It's important that the international community comes to an ambitious, comprehensive climate change agreement at COP 21 at the end of the year," he said.
The financial and technical support of industrialized nations is essential for small island nations, which are among the most vulnerable to climate change, the Director of SPC's North Pacific Regional office, Gerald Zackios, said.
"Importantly, the workshop has improved the participants' understanding of climate finance, including the Green Climate Fund and the concept of Intended Nationally Determined Contributions and the related preparation process in the North Pacific," Mr Zackios said.
Around 30 participants were expected at the workshop which ran until Wednesday (15 July). It was made possible with funding from Germany's Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety.