Thank you for the piece on Tonga’s participation at the 15th Congress of the World Meteorological Organisation, currently underway in Geneva. In the speech to the Congress by the head of Tonga’s delegation, “he requested WMO and its Members to assist Tonga in the trading of carbon credits as a means of adaptation to the effects of Global Warming and associate climate change and climate variability.” This request is obviously a reflection of the priority that the government places on climate change.
We all appreciate the close linkages between climate change and meteorology, however, the issue of trading carbon credits is a matter to be more appropriately dealt with at the meetings of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the associated meetings of the Conference of the Parties to the UNFCCC and the Meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol, which is also curently underway in Bonn. Trading of carbon credits is a mechanism in the Kyoto Protocol for Annex 1 parties only and it does not include developing countries like Tonga. Furthermore, Tonga has yet to ratify the Kyoto Protocol and therefore cannot benefit from the flexible mechanisms in it. Geneva is too far and costly a place to go to and ask for the wrong thing at the wrong forum. One only wonder whether the delegation to Bonn is also asking for the wrong thing at the right place. It therefore calls for closer collaboration within the government organs to ensure maximum national benefits from international meetings and agencies.
Talking about assistance on adaptation, let’s start on the simple fact that Kanokupolu and ‘Ahau will soon live underwater and that the Taufa’ahau Road from Talafo’ou to Kolonga will soon be washed away by the sea.