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Our Target, 30 percent Cut By 2030, Says Bainimarama

Our Target, 30 percent Cut By 2030, Says Bainimarama
Villagers after the Wainisavulevu Weir Raising Project commissioning at Monasavu yesterday. Photo: Jona Konataci
November 04
12:03 2015

We will cut our carbon emissions by 30 per cent by 2030.

Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama yesterday announced our commitment to global climate change mitigation.

He will be taking this target to the World Climate Conference (COP 21) in Paris this month.

He used the commissioning of Fiji Electricity Authority’s $43 million Wainisavulevu Weir Raising Project yesterday in Naitasiri as the platform to make this announcement.

“This is an enormous commitment for a nation of our size and stage of development,” he said.

“Proportionally, it is a much bigger sacrifice than a 30 per cent commitment by any industrialised nation.”

Mr Bainimarama indicated that Fiji’s total share of global emissions is 0.004 per cent which was already almost negligible in the first place.

He pointed out that the average Fijian was generating five times less carbon than the average person in the rest of the world.

“Our per capita carbon emissions in 2013 was an estimated 1.5 tonnes compared to a global average of 5.6 tonnes,” he said.

“So it is clearly the industrial nations, not us, who are largely responsible for the alarming rise in global temperatures that threaten our way of life here in the Pacific.”

Mr Bainimarama stressed Fiji had not caused the problem and unlike the nations who benefited from the industrial revolution, we certainly haven’t got rich on carbon.

“Yet along with the other small island developing states and low-lying areas of the world, it is we who are having to carry the greatest burden,” he said.

But, he said, we were still prepared to share the responsibility with the rest of the world.


Achieving the target

The 30 per cent target is anticipated by  drastically reducing carbon emissions in our energy sector.

Mr Bainimarama stated that by 2030, Government intended to generate 99 per cent of our electricity needs from renewable sources such as water or the sun, up from around 60 per cent in 2013.

“Which is why the project I am launching today and others like it are so important for our nation’s future,” he said.

“Clean energy. Renewable energy. That doesn’t generate carbon emissions from burning fuel at all.


The project

The commissioning of the Wainisavulevu Weir Raising Project will reduce Fiji’s dependence on fossil fuels.

Mr Bainimarama said: “This would boost our capacity to access hydroelectric power – clean, green energy that is already transforming our economy and on which much of our future prosperity depends.

“So the expansion of our hydroelectric generating capacity through the upgrading of this reservoir at Wainisavulevu is a wonderful day for Fiji.

“By raising this weir an additional eight meters, the reservoir can now hold seventeen times more water than it could before.

“Which means the Wainikasou Hydro Power Station will generate an additional 10-million units of electricity a year. And save us some $2.5 million dollars a year in diesel fuel.”


Supplying electricity

Government has also reassured its commitment to progressively turn on the power for many thousands of ordinary Fijians.

Mr Bainimarama highlighted that in Ra, Government aimed to cover the corridor between Rakiraki and Korovou by August of next year.

“We have also redoubled our efforts to bring power to Taveuni, and should complete the first phase there by the first-quarter of 2016,” he said.



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