That means welcome in Fijian, the Presidency of COP23 is Fiji, so this COP has an amazing mix of German and Fijian culture. Bula is said around the COP, as Fiji welcomes everyone to Bonn.
Today we were welcomed to the COP with native Fijian dancing, ceremonies, and song. Both the German ministers and Fijian ministers welcomed everyone to the meeting in Bonn and called for immediate global action.
Fiji is a particularly interesting host to a COP because they are representing the Pacific Islands, some of the most impacted locations in the world in the face of global sea level rise. Fiji called for particular action around maintaining the Adaptation Fund, something you will hear more about from Anna in the coming days. Additionally, they called for immediate ratcheting up of ambition, as the countries have currently only pledged one-third of the necessary greenhouse gas emissions reductions to remain below 2°C global warming. Finally, Fiji pledged to bring the most vulnerable countries to the forefront in this COP, something that is particularly important to their region. Needless to say, the negotiators are going to be busy these next two weeks figuring out how to make it all happen.
Here is a music video, showing the theme song to the COP. "I'm an Island" attempts to say that the whole world is an island, we are all impacted by climate change, and it is our collective responsibility to take action.
More to come this week as we dig into the negotiations!
Have questions about what is happening at this COP? Respond to this post!
Will is a US National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellow at the University of Maine where he is pursuing a masters degree in the School of Earth and Climate Science. Will is interested in glaciers around the world and works with remotely sensed and in situ data to answer questions about glacier dynamics and mass balance.