17 Nov 2017

SPREP head calls for more ambition at COP23

8:16 am on 17 November 2017

One of the Pacific leaders at the COP23 climate change conference in Bonn in Germany is hoping delegates show more ambition before the meeting is completed this weekend.

SPREP Director-General, Kosi Latu.

SPREP Director-General, Kosi Latu. Photo: RNZI / Sally Round

The director general of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme Kosi Latu said, so far, there had been little discussion on the substantive matters.

He said, for example, countries were getting bogged down in legal matter or discussing templates for the reporting on their national commitments to climate change.

Mr Latu said this was not good enough.

"We need to really look at issues of substance. You know we need to start discussing, focussing on issues of financing, we need to look at issues of getting the countries to, particularly developing countries and help them to come up with ambitious plans of what they are going to do in terms of raising the level of ambition."

New UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres addresses staff in January.

New UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres addresses staff in January. Photo: AFP

Meanwhile, UN Secretary General António Guterres said Fiji was an example of a nation on the frontlines of climate change and more ambition, haste and unity are needed to achieve targets set in Paris.

Speaking at COP23, Mr Guterres told world leaders climate change was the threat of our time with floods, fires, extreme storms and droughts growing in intensity and frequency.

He said atmospheric levels of carbon dioxide were higher than they have been for 800,000 years.

Mr Guterres highlighted five areas for action including reducing carbon emissions and strenthening resilience and climate adaptation.

He said clean energy investments as well as courageous and compassionate leadership, were also vital for a healthy planet.

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