Tuvalu at the United Nations

Tuvalu At the United Nations

Time for New Legal Agreement on Climate Change says Deputy Prime Minister of Tuvalu

01 October 2007, New York: The Deputy Prime Minister for Tuvalu, the Hon Tavau Teii called for a new legal agreement on climate change in his speech to the United Nations General Assembly today. He said that an agreement at the Bali Conference of Parties to the climate change convention should have four key elements.

“First, an agreement in Bali should reconfirm the important role of the Kyoto Protocol and encourage Parties to the Protocol to pledge new and substantial emissions reductions and encourage others to become a Party to it”, said Mr Teii.

“Second, we should agree to amend the Kyoto Protocol so that we open the door for newly industrialised countries, countries with economies in transition and any other interested countries, including developing countries, to take on commitments to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions.”

“Third, we must commit to a new global framework on adaptation to the impacts of climate change. For highly vulnerable countries like Tuvalu this is an essential step in the process.”

“Fourth we must agree to a new negotiation process under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change that will establish a new legal agreement to allow developing countries to make voluntary commitments to reduce their emissions. Under this arrangement we envisage that developing countries will be able to take voluntary commitments to reduce emissions from the energy, transport and forest sectors. These commitments would be linked to appropriate incentive mechanisms.”

In the context of reducing emissions from deforestation, Mr Teii said that his government believed that any agreed measures must bring about real reductions in global emissions.

“Actions to reduce emissions from deforestation should not undermine or devalue efforts to reduce emissions from other sectors. Furthermore these actions should not infringe upon the rights of indigenous peoples and local communities. The causes of deforestation are complex particularly as there are serious governance issues to resolve. Let’s make sure we get a durable solution to this issue that will achieve a lasting climate change outcome,” said Mr Teii.

The Deputy Prime Minister of Tuvalu also highlighted two essential elements of a new agreement to assist vulnerable countries adapt to the impacts of climate change.

“First we must establish a whole new source of funding for adaptation and a new approach on how adaptation funding is managed. A potential new source of funding for adaptation could come from a levy on international aviation and maritime transport. Second we must establish a global insurance facility to help assist vulnerable countries recover from the impacts of climate change”, said Mr Teii.

“We must set ourselves a short time frame to create a new legally binding agreement on climate change. This should not undermine the Kyoto Protocol, but build on its strengths. Those countries that have turned their backs on the Kyoto Protocol must now take part in the global effort and commit to reducing their emissions within a tight timeframe. Once this is done, then we will see the rest of the world move forward, for it is crucial that all countries must make an effort to reduce their emissions. We must not waste the opportunity at Bali.” said Mr Teii.

For further information contact:
Ambassador Afelee Pita
Permanent Mission of Tuvalu to the United Nations
Tel: 1 212-490 0534

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