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Three months since the Glasgow Climate Pact came into being at COP26 in Glasgow last year, the Pacific have outlined how the UK COP26 Presidency can support our island region on their journey towards COP27.

The Twenty-Sixth Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework on Climate Change (UNFCCC COP26) was held in Glasgow, Scotland from 1 – 13 November last year.  The UK remains as the Presidency until the handover to Egypt at COP27 in Sharm el Sheikh in November this year.

A post-COP26 hybrid event held on 23 February - “The Road to COP27 Pacific Climate Change Dialogue with UK COP26 Presidency” in which a special panel was held to outline how the UK COP26 Presidency can support the Pacific on the Road to COP27.

“We echo the request of our PSIDS Chair of the incoming COP27 Presidency - Egypt to engage with our region in preparation for COP27 as we have done, and will continue to do so, with the UK COP Presidency across this year,” presented Ms Tagaloa Cooper, Director of Climate Change Resilience of the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP).

SPREP leads agencies within the Council of Regional Organisations of the Pacific, and others (One CROP-Plus), to strengthen coordinated support for enhanced engagement of Pacific islands in the UNFCCC Process.

“We also seek support from the UK COP Presidency for our COP27 preparation by highlighting the important opportunities our countries need to be engaged in as well as spaces where our Pacific youth, women and vulnerable groups can be heard.”

“The Pacific Voyage” is the guiding document for One CROP-Plus to help amplifying the Pacific voice at the climate change negotiations.  Under this is a wide range of activities to help make this happen for COP26 including a range of virtual preparatory activities led by SPREP in partnership with Climate Analytics and One CROP-Plus, for the Pacific islands.

COP26 was hosted by the United Kingdom from 1 -13 November 2021.  Amplifying the Pacific voice at COP26 was a major challenge given there were just 146 Pacific Island delegates present due to COVID-19 challenges.  Overall, there were close to 40,000 registered participants. Climate change is the single greatest threat to the security of our Pacific islands people who work collectively to advocate for a 1.5 Degree world.

A communications campaign was designed and implemented by SPREP with One CROP-Plus spanning Pacific office space at COP26, a social media campaign on TikTok - #Flex for 1pt5 and the Mana Moana Pacific Voices digital films showcasing Pacific poetry at COP26.  These activities were supported by the New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

At COP26 itself, SPREP worked closely with the Chair of the Pacific Small Islands Developing States (PSIDS) the Government of Samoa, providing support for Pacific coordination under the different thematic areas of negotiations coordinate support for Pacific Island delegations and their “asks” at COP26.

“With the Chair of PSIDS leading our preparations, One CROP-plus agencies have started engagement with networks in the Pacific, in our hope that inclusion will be a priority for COP27,” said Ms Cooper.

“We’ll ensure regular meetings and engagement at both the political and technical levels to ensure all those involved will progress our regional priorities in unison.  We are confident that our existing relationship with the UK COP presidency will continue as we build momentum towards COP27.”

COP27 will be hosted by Egypt in Sharm el Sheikh from 7 – 18 November 2022.

Session 4: How can the UK COP26 Presidency support the Pacific on the Road to COP27 session also included presenters Ms Pepetua Latasi Director of Climate Change Tuvalu, Dr Stuart Minchin, Director of the Pacific Community (SPC), Professor Elisabeth Holland of PACE-SD University of the South Pacific (USP), Exsley Taloiburi Climate Change Financing Adviser of the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat (PIFS).  A response was presented from Mr Ken O’Flaherty, COP26 Regional Ambassador to Asia-Pacific.

Members of the One CROP-Plus group led by SPREP consists of Pacific Islands Forum Fisheries Agency, PIFS, SPC, UN Development Programme, UN Environment Programme, and USP.

“The Road to COP27 Pacific Climate Dialogue with UK COP26 Presidency” was held on 23 February 2022.  The hybrid event was a partnership between the UK the COP26 Presidency, the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP), the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat (PIFS), the Pacific Community (SPC), the University of the South Pacific (USP) and the Pacific Resilience Partnership (PRP).