Niue and SPREP on COP27 and the lead up to COP28: “Climate Change is everyone’s business”

Being at the table and having a voice at the table, were the key messages emphasised in the workshop held last week on climate change. 

The Environment Department on behalf of the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP) hosted a workshop last Thursday based upon the Climate Change Thematic Area. 

Taking place at the Scenic Matavai Conference room, the workshop saw representatives from government departments, civil society, private sector and community organisations. 

A team from SPREP, in partnership with OneCROP, arrived on the island earlier this week to assist the Niue government in the preparations for global climate change negotiations heading into Dubai for COP28 at the end of this year. They are also here to advance the role of the Pacific Political Champion for Gender, Social Inclusion and Climate Change.

BCN News spoke with SPREP Chair Mrs Tagaloa Cooper who shared more about SPREP’s mission to Niue. 

“Climate Change is everyone’s business. What we are doing here in Niue is unpacking what COP27 was, what happened, what impacts on Niue, what Niue followed and what needs to be done in the lead up to COP28.”

The Niue delegation who attended COP27 also presented their learnings and outcomes from the conference. The team of seven, represented four thematic priorities including gender, loss and damage, climate finance and adaptation. 

BCN News was able to speak to Felicia Talagi who represented the climate finance thematic priority for Niue’s delegation at COP27. 

“I followed climate finance. I always like to follow money because a lot of our priorities in Niue, we need the financial resources to be able to implement a lot of those activities. COP – Conference of the Parties – this is where a lot of the developed nations will put out their money and COP is also where policies are developed. The government inter framework for the different funding mechanisms are developed.”

While she acknowledges the funding support by the bigger and well developed nations, the only issue is accessing these financial resources, says Felicia. 

“Being at the table to let the different partners know what our constraints are in Niue is an important part of it because we can tell the donors that it’s awesome that they are putting out a lot of this money, they are putting out billions of dollars for climate change, adaptation, and mitigation. But a lot of the issues for us in the Pacific are accessing these resources.”

Creating a simplified process to access these financial resources is what they have been calling for at the conference, says Felicia. 

The Niue delegation acknowledged also the agreement achieved at COP27 for a loss and damage fund which the Pacific Small Island Developing States (PSIDS) have especially been calling to action for many years. 

While it is an achievement for the PSIDS and countries who are most vulnerable to the impacts of climate change, there is still more work that needs to be done. The greatest one yet of the Paris Agreement and the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) is to lower global warming temperatures to 1.5 degrees celsius or below.  

The SPREP mission team to Niue have departed on today’s flight after a week working with the Niue government and stakeholders in the preparation for COP28 to be held in Dubai at the end of this year.

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