No consensus at COP 24; small island states dissatisfied with rulebook

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Channel 5, Great Belize Television, Katowice, Poland

At this hour, global talks are still under way in Katowice, Poland, to develop a rulebook to enforce the 2015 Paris agreement to address climate change. After two weeks of negotiations, which country representatives have described as slow and contentious, there is still not a final agreement because of persisting differences over key issues such as climate finance and the demand for stronger nationally determined contributions.

A draft rulebook was submitted on Thursday, but there were several points on which countries were not in agreement, so consultations are still ongoing at this hour -- well beyond two in the morning in Poland.  Earlier this evening, when the text should have been finalised, News Five’s Andrea Polanco caught up with Carlos Fuller, who is a negotiator for the small island states at COP 24. He outlines some of the concerns the Alliance Of Small Island States' negotiating team has with the text and why they have not agreed to it

 

“Interestingly, Andrea, it is now five past six here in Katowice. The COP should have ended five minutes ago, but in fact we have not even convened the closing of the plenary yet. So, we are way, way behind schedule," Fuller said.

"Last night the COP Presidency issued the various documents on what would be the primary decision coming out of the COP. And he presented it to the COP plenary and the reaction from many of the parties was dissatisfaction with it because their concerns were not being met. He revised that text at three o’clock this morning and reissued it. And since then he has been undertaking what we call shuttle diplomacy, requesting each group to come in to discuss the text with him to see how he can accommodate them. And since, he issued a new document at ten a.m. this morning and that is now being shuffled around. Each group going in independently to see how their issued can be addressed," Fuller continued.

"But, of course, as soon as he modifies it to meet the needs of one group of countries, when he shows it to the next group, they are dissatisfied with something else. So, he is going around now undertaking these efforts in a full package to see if that can accommodate it. Right now we, we understand he is proposing to have a plenary either at nine or ten o’clock at night. So, that is what he is hoping that will occur tonight. In the case of the text that was presented, there were concerns for us as small island states because for example, the issue of markets – we are concerned that the issue of double counting of credits is not being addressed; the share of proceeds towards that is not being addressed, so we are hoping that in this new text that will certainly be addressed. The outcome of the Talanoa Dialogue which requires for countries to   update their NDCs to reach the one point five degree target is not strong enough. So, we are asking to do that. On the issue of loss and damage, again, we believe that that needs to be addressed across several parts of the text. There are several areas of concerns for us that we think needs to be changed to accommodate our needs.”