• image
  • image
  • image
  • image
  • image
  • image
  • image
  • image
  • image
  • image
  • image
  • image
  • image
Wednesday, 03 August 2011 04:43

Some hope from the Cancun conference

Rate this item
(0 votes)

Sister Geraldine attended the conference from 29 November to 10 December as the delegate for social responsibility for the Pacific Calling Partnership (PCP) and as a member of Climate Action Network Australia (CANA).

Forming her delegation were Phil Glendenning, Director of the Edmund Rice Centre, Jill Finnane, Coordinator for PCP, Maria Tiimon, Pacific Outreach Officer for PCP and Claire Anterea and Toani Benson representatives of Kiribati Climate Action Network. Members of PCP also worked closely with the Kiribati Government delegation and Jill, Claire and Geraldine held official entry into the party negotiations.

As well as attending several plenary sessions, Sister Geraldine and her fellow PCP delegates publicised the situation facing low-lying Pacific islands such as Kiribati through a number of side events.

"Once again, after being present in Bali and Copenhagen, it was imperative that we were present at the UNFCCC in Cancun to do all in our power to let the voices of some of the most vulnerable communities be heard and for them also to be seen!" Sister Geraldine said.

One of the most powerful presentations was the screening of Linda Uan's film, 'Kiribati and Climate Change'.   One viewer commented that in just nine minutes it brought together the science, the human experience, the political difficulties and the need for action.

While the package of decisions made at Cancun was not perfect, Sister Geraldine said there was a groundswell of support and acknowledgement that the global community needed to accept their share of accountability and to move forward.

"However, what is ultimately required is the implementation of global emissions reduction schemes that will generate long term financing to facilitate development and adaptation in developing countries," she said.

"The current pledges are still below the targets that will take us to below two degrees warming. We need to have a second commitment to the Kyoto Protocol and further negotiations that will deliver a fair, ambitious and legally binding deal in the near future."

One of the decisions made at the conference was a commitment of a total of $30 billion in fast-start finance from industrialised countries to support climate action in the developing world up to 2012, and an intention to raise $100 billion in long-term funds by 2020.

Sister Geraldine said commitments of fast-start financial packages for adaptation in developing countries provided some hope.

"However, we need to focus on the term "fast-start" and deter any delays in dispensing these packages as these commitments will benefit developing countries especially low-lying Pacific Islands.

"Delays will only impede the immediate action required NOW as Pacific Islands have no time left to bear the brunt of prolonged, pointless and endless negotiations."

Sister Geraldine said Australia's announcement on delivering their fast-start finance commitments as part of their promise made under the Copenhagen Accord echoes a willingness and hope to move forward constructively.

"It is hoped this does not become tied up in political and bureaucratic red tape at the expense of the communities such as Kiribati and Tuvalu, most in need of financial assistance."

Sister Geraldine added that she was honoured to be part of the delegation and to be able to work in close liaison with the Kiribati Government.

For more information on the package of decisions made at the UN Climate Change Conference in Cancun, Mexico click here.

Pathways, December 2010

Have your say...


"Congratulations, Geraldine, on being a delegate to Cancun. We certainly hope and pray that more will be done for the poor countries where the effects are most keenly felt"
- Anne Morrison, 18-12-2010