Focus on the UN Climate Change Conference, COP23

DEAR Editor,

According to the latest SIBC news report, from which I quote:

“Solomon Islands will be pushing for more global cooperation at this year’s UN Climate Change Conference, COP23, in Bonn, Germany.

“Solomon Islands High Commissioner to Australia Collin Beck is the chief negotiator for Solomon Islands in the global discussions at COP23, and he said the main priority for the country is to get major global carbon emitters to commit to the fight against climate change.

“He said there is a lot at stake for Solomon Islands because global action against climate change is currently slow.

“At COP23, leaders from around the world are discussing ways to speed up climate action to meet the goals of last year’s Paris Agreement.

“Mr. Beck said he hopes Fiji’s presidency of the conference will give more weight to the issues faced by Pacific Island states.

“Engaging with everyone is an important step in mitigating the effects of climate change, Mr. Beck said.

“Whatever we do, we cannot solve it ourselves,” he said. “It needs the cooperation of all our neighbors, all the world.”

Meanwhile, Radio New Zealand International has recently reported (quote)

Pope Francis is drawing attention to the immediate climate change threat to the Pacific Islands, says (New Zealand climate change minister James Shaw)

Mr Shaw and Pacific Peoples Minister Aupito William Sio are representing New Zealand at climate talks in Germany, and on the way there had an audience with Pope Francis at the Vatican.

The COP23 conference in Bonn is being convened under the presidency of Fiji, giving the international meeting a decidedly Pacific feel and focus.

Mr Shaw said delegates from Melanesia, Micronesia and Polynesia read statements at the Vatican meeting on different facets of the climate challenge. Pope Francis responded drawing on his encyclical of 2015, in which he described climate change as a global problem with grave implications.

“He is extremely concerned about the territorial threat from rising sea levels and about the state of the oceans,” Mr Shaw said.

“He is continuing to use the weight of his office and his influence to draw attention to the environment in general, but climate change specifically.

“The reason it’s such a big deal for the Pacific Islands is that he’s now drawing attention specifically to the immediate threat that the islands are facing.”

Yours sincerely

Frank Short

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