7 December 2018, Katowice, Poland - The Pacific concept of ‘Talanoa’ is a process of storytelling for the common good, and it has grown globally, reaching all corners of the planet through the international climate change process.
In 2017, in line with a mandated decision for a facilitative process to take stock of collective efforts in progressing towards the long term goal of the Paris Agreement. Fiji as the President of the 23rd Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC COP23) launched the Talanoa Dialogue. This allowed people to tell their climate change stories on reaching the long-term temperature goal of the Paris Agreement, resulting in a collection of stories and thoughts that answered three key questions when it comes to holding the global average temperature to well below 2 °C or even further to 1.5 °C. The three key questions were - Where are we now? Where do we want to be? And how do we get there?
“The creation of this space for a dialogue that is distinct from the negotiations is proving to be an important step forward and I am convinced that the Talanoa Dialogue is a valuable new tool in our collective effort to effectively address climate change,” stated Adam Guibourge-Czetwertyński Chief Negotiator for Poland at a special session at the UN Climate Change Conference which presented the wrap up of the preparatory phase of the Talanoa Dialogue. Poland is the President of the UNFCCC COP24 and as such, jointly leads the two different phases with Fiji.
Coming to an end at COP24, the preparatory phase of the Talanoa Dialogue received a total of 473 inputs as of the end of October this year. One such input came in May this year, at the sessions of the subsidiary bodies under the UNFCCC, when 305 participants shared 474 stories in response to the three questions asked. During 2018 there were 90 Talanoa Dialogue events held across the world which were added to the Talanoa Dialogue calendar, yet there were many more also held that were not featured in the calendar.
“We are very proud to see how widely and rapidly the Talanoa spirit and approach has spread around the globe,” presented Ambassador Luke Daunivalu, the Chief Negotiator of Fiji’s COP23 Presidency.
“Parties and non-party stakeholders have engaged in the process in a number of ways by participating in the Talanoas we held in Bonn in May, by organisng Talanoas at the regional, national and local levels, by submitting inputs and even by engaging in campaigns on social media.”
At COP24 that Parties are calling for stronger ambitions to achieve the Paris Agreement goal of global warming at 2ºC or even lower to 1.5ºC. As it currently stands, commitments by Parties to reduce their greenhouse gases are not nearly enough to reach these goals.
Suggestions as to how we can get there are summarised in the Talanoa Dialogue synthesis report, released on 19 November, from participants that identified actions and efforts by different actors.
Most importantly the case for courage, confidence and enhanced ambition was strongly made by a set of factors which were repeatedly referred to and included the consequences of inaction, the realm of possibility, the untapped potential, the ambition by non-Party stakeholders and cooperative initiatives, as well as falling costs of technology and society’s calls for ambition.
The key factor to get there, is political will and working together.
“Leadership is not confined to Governments, nor the responsibility to set up strong stable and cohesive frameworks,” stated Adam Guibourge-Czetwertyński Chief Negotiator of Poland as he presented key messages from the synthesis report at COP24.
“Leaders from the private sectors can also provide leadership through the establishment of targets through their supply chains and by motivating their peers. The civil society plays a major role by engaging with governments and promoting climate actions at all levels. Spiritual leaders can also help people under their responsibility to care for the wonders of nature and creation.”
The information and insights collected during the preparatory phase were synthesised by both the Presidencies of COP23 and COP24 to provide a foundation for the political phase which is taking place at COP24 in Katowice, Poland to be co-chaired by Fiji and Poland.
“As requested by COP 23, we the COP23 and COP24 presidencies have prepared the synthesis that strives to provide the succinct yet comprehensive starting point for the political phase. It represents our best attempt to synthesise the interest and stories shared so far while avoiding bias to any subject,” Ambasssador Luke Daunivalu, Fiji’s COP23 Chief Negotiator stated.
A series of high level roundtable discussions will be held during the second week of the UN Climate Change Conference to capture political momentum to help Parties to the UNFCCC inform the preparation of their nationally determined contributions. Also known as NDC’s, under the Paris Agreement, Parties are to submit these national climate plans that outline climate action including targets, policies and measures to be undertaken to contribute to global climate action.
The next round of NDC’s must be submitted in 2020, when implementation of the Paris Agreement effectively begins, and it is in this next round that Parties have been called upon to commit to deeper emission targets to achieve a 1.5ºC temperature warming goal.
To learn more about the Talanoa Dialogue, please visit the Talanoa Platform: https://talanoadialogue.com/