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Fiji warns climate talks must stay united

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November 13, 2017

Fiji PM Frank Bainimarama says co-operation is the only way to make climate action work.

Fiji has warned countries at the UN climate talks it is overseeing that they must put aside their differences and work together if the world is to limit climate change.

"We are encouraging all parties to provide the political will necessary to achieve an ambitious outcome at COP23, which includes of course the pre-2020 commitments and actions," Fijian Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama told reporters in Bonn on Sunday.

The diplomatically veiled caution comes after Iran, on behalf of a group of developing countries, accused developed nations of eroding trust and trying to censor their poorer counterparts.

Splits have developed at the COP23 talks during the past week over the inclusion on the formal agenda of discussions about lifting climate action ambitions before 2020, and over financing arrangements to help developing countries act on and adapt to climate change.

Iran's representative told a mid-conference update on Saturday developing countries were seeing their "trust and good faith being eroded" and there seemed to be concerted efforts to only discuss proposals put forward from richer nations.

Ecuador, speaking for a group of 134 developing countries and China, said there seemed to be a lack of political will from developed countries.

The European Union rejected this notion while Australia's environment ambassador Patrick Suckling, speaking for developed countries outside Europe, said persistent efforts to add extra items to the COP agenda were "hampering the very progress we are seeking".

Nevertheless, Mr Bainimarama said on Sunday he thought the talks were entering their second week in good shape.

But he reminded parties the only way any one country could protect itself from climate change was by joining with all others and moving together.

"That is the message I'm conveying to all parties, and especially those who have particular issues that matter deeply to them," he said.

"No one is immune to climate change and we must focus not on our differences but on the absolute imperative to move this process forward."

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