“The Talanoa Dialogue and the Marrakech Partnership aims to bring together a diverse set of stakeholders to exchange experiences, knowledge and ideas and to learn and better understand one another” – Climate Champion’s Remarks at the Latin American and Caribbean Climate Week

Ni sa bula vinaka and a very good afternoon to you all.

It is my pleasure to be here this afternoon and to be part of a dialogue that encompasses the Pacific tradition of Talanoa.

My country Fiji introduced the tradition of talanoa into the 2018 Facilitative Dialogue, a UNFCCC process that was mandated by the Parties during COP21 in Paris.

During COP23 in Bonn, the 2018 Facilitative Dialogue was renamed to the “Talanoa Dialogue” to reflect the talanoa approach adopted in this important process.

So what is Talanoa?

Talanoa is the Fijian and Pacific tradition of people coming together to share stories, exchange ideas, forge relationships, and build consensus in an environment of mutual respect.

Therefore, the approach of the Talanoa Dialogue is about creating an open and inclusive space where countries, cities, businesses, investors, civil society, faith-based organisations, indigenous communities, youth, and others can gather and share stories without fear of finger pointing or recrimination.

The Talanoa Dialogue invites everyone to share their experiences, their achievements, challenges, solutions, innovations and visions –  all aimed at inspiring and impelling countries to accelerate climate action and increase ambition. Ambition and action for both pre-2020 and post-2020.

The dialogue has been running throughout the year and we are now more than half way through the preparatory phase of the dialogue that will end at COP 24 in Katowice. The political phase will take place during COP24.

We are happy that Parties and non-Party stakeholders are engaged in this preparatory phase by organising their own Talanoas, like this one, and also by submitting their inputs to the Talanoa Portal.

Ladies and gentlemen

In the talanoa this afternoon you will be asked to ponder on the 3 core questions of the talanoa dialogue –

  • Where are we?
  • Where do we want to go? And
  • How do we get there?

I would like to kick this off by quickly answering two of the questions.

On the second question – Where do we want to go?

The message of the Fijian Presidency has been very clear on this. We should aim for the highest level of ambition of keeping temperature increase to within 1.5 degrees Celsius.

This is vital for the survival of our small island communities and for other vulnerable regions around the world. We should take all efforts to sharply bend the alarming temperature trajectory we are currently on.

And how do we get there?

There needs to be a radical change in the way we do business in order to shift towards a pathway that will take us to a net-zero emission world as soon as possible, before the mid-century.

We should strengthen trends and forces towards achieving the collective long-term goals of the Paris Agreement.

We should bring in the non-Party stakeholder experience in policy assessment, design and implementation.

We need to establish structured opportunities for the private sector and civil society to engage in the national dialogues and on their respective NDCs.

We need to strengthen and expand collaboration among different agencies, ministries, including with financing institutions and investors.

Most importantly, we need to broaden participation and climate action support in the developing countries.

The high-level champions recognise the importance of strengthening climate action in these regions and act on the opportunities available.

Ladies and gentlemen

The Talanoa Dialogue and the Marrakech Partnership aims to bring together a diverse set of stakeholders to exchange experiences, knowledge and ideas and to learn and better understand one another.

Everyone constructively contributes, everyone respectfully listens, and everyone openly engages to collectively identify solutions and to take action to address the problem at hand.

It is our hope that this Talanoa spirit of openness, respect and inclusiveness will become a norm in national and international level discussions on climate change.

While the talanoa dialogue will end at COP24 in Poland, let us keep the spirit of talanoa alive beyond this!

In ending, I would like to commend and congratulate the Government of Uruguay for organising and driving this important Talanoa event for the Latin America and Caribbean region.

Events like this are an important vehicle for carrying your stories and messages to the political phase. I urge you to actively participate and ensure that the message of urgency and opportunity resonates in your stories.

Through your stories, you can inspire and amplify the urgent call for increased climate action needed to achieve the goals of the Paris Agreement.

I wish you all a productive and enjoyable talanoa.

Vinaka vakalevu. Thank you. Muchas Gracias.