Paris climate summit ‘positive – but not enough for Pacific’, says SPREP chief
Last year’s COP21 Paris agreement on climate change was “a positive outcome’ but did nowhere near enough to address the Pacific’s vulnerabilities, says a regional environmental leader.
Leota Kosi Latu, Director-General of the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP), which has 26 member nations, said: “I think it’s a positive outcome for our regions and a positive outcome for our countries … but it’s not finished yet.”
Latu was giving the closing address to the In the Eye of the Storm Pacific climate change conference yesterday.
The secretariat had had several “key asks” for the Paris conference, most notably “a strong legally binding agreement,” recognition of small island developing states in the Pacific, an agreement to minimise temperature rises to 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels, and mitigation “architecture”.
Overall, Leota said he was happy with the agreement’s “balance of adaptation and mitigation”. Most of the Secretariat’s key demands were met, though Latu called the document “a compromise agreement”, adding: “One of my disappointments with the Paris agreements is that it didn’t address the issues of oceans.”