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Our Response To Climate Change Should Be Collective: A-G Tells

Our Response To Climate Change Should Be Collective: A-G Tells
Attorney-General and Minister responsible for Climate Change Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum participants of the Global Employers Climate Action Forum at Holiday Inn on July 25, 2018. Photo: Ronald Kumar.
July 26
15:22 2018

As our Prime Minister said we are all in the same canoe when it comes to climate change. Our response must be collective and it will take input and action from all of us.

These were the words of the Attorney-General and Minister Responsible for Climate Change Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum while officiating as the chief guest at the Global Employers Climate Action Forum at the Holiday Inn, Suva yesterday.

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said governments, businesses and citizens are looking to us because we, our people and our economies, are the front lines of climate change.

“We must set a bold example in how the public and private sectors can work together to drive decisive climate action,” Mr Sayed Khaiyum said.

“We are very glad to see our businesses from across the region are so well represented, whether you are working in the tourism sector, manufacturing, construction or finance you all have experience, knowledge and expertise in helping us deliver on our climate action agenda here in Fiji and indeed in the region and the Pacific and of course taking our experiences to the global stage.”

National economies

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said the eyes of the world are on the Pacific and the position of the Government in particular in relation to the private sector and in a position that the Fijian government has taken in respect of the honour that we were given vis-a-vis COP23.

He said as Pacific men and women, we know what we are up against and we are all enduring the devastating impact of cyclones, rising seas, other climate impacts.

“We all witnessed the damage caused to our national economies and communities and the serious impact the climate change has had on our modern life.

“It is far more than a matter of social responsibility. It is a question of survival with the very economies which you operate and indeed it also requires us to become a lot more innovative,” Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said.

Theme

Speaking on the forum’s theme “Resilient business and communities”, Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said: “It involves the responsible reduction of greenhouse emissions to atleast net zero level and it requires we urgently boost the ability of our businesses and communities to with stand the strong storms, rising seas, changing weather patterns and other devastating impacts of climate change.”

Fiji Commerce and Employers Federation (FCEF) president Sandeep Chauhan said the private sector organisations are ready to take action in the fight against climate change.

“We all know the impact this has made in our lives and our communities in the recent few years. The major steps are committing in the implementation of the Paris Agreement and transitioning to environmentally sustainable economies and society for all,” Mr Chauhan said.

FCEF took over the presidency for Marrackech Business 4 All Climate Network (MB4A) climate network from the president of General Confederation of Morocco Enterprise during the COP23 in Bonn last year.

Climate network

The MB4A climate network endorsed the Fiji declaration that aims to create a synergy and permanent exchanges between private sectors with the objective of achieving their commitment to:

1. Partner with the Government and all other actors in the implementation of the Paris Agreement.

2. Promote the emergence of a new low carbon economy that combats climate change while creating new jobs and advancing shared economic prosperity.

Mr Chauhan said the theme reflects the need to progress forward the commitment of the employers’ associations and the private sector.

“This will include the discussions on how employers can contribute to their country’s NDCs, how they are impacted by climate change and their quest to compete globally and their role in transitioning work with the communities,” Mr Chauhan said.

He said they are raising awareness among participants and other stakeholders and improving sustainable practices by incorporating considerations such as the impact of waste produced and energy materials consumed during event planning and activities.

App Launch

For this event, FCEF prepared a booklet with the programme, biographies and pictures of the invited speakers at the conference which is now available through a mobile app that was developed especially for the forum. The app can be downloaded from Google Play Store for Android users and through App Store for iPhone users.

Feedback:  mohammed.zulfikar@fijisun.com.fj

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