FIJI NEWS

PM: Blame them

By JYOTI PRATIBHA Industrialised countries lack the political will to seriously acknowledge climate change says Prime Minister Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama. While opening the second National Climate Change Summit at Narewa
13 Aug 2013 11:16

Chief guest Prime Minister Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama and the Tui Nadi, Ratu Sailosi Dawai, with participants in the National Climate Change Summit at Narewa Village, Nadi, yesterday. Photo: LITIA MATHEWSELL

By JYOTI PRATIBHA

Industrialised countries lack the political will to seriously acknowledge climate change says Prime Minister Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama.
While opening the second National Climate Change Summit at Narewa Village in Nadi, Commodore Bainimarama expressed dissatisfaction with the manner in which neighbour Australia had backed out from its commitment towards climate change issues.
“As I have said before, it is the height of selfishness for the industrialised countries – the big carbon polluters – to put their economic interests before our survival, Commodore Bainimarama said.
“To them we say; we didn’t cause this, you did. For heaven’s sake, face up to your responsibilities and do what the scientists say you need to do. Stop talking and start taking appropriate and decisive action.”
He said Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd had once described climate change as “the greatest moral challenge of our time”.
“For once, I agree with him about something. So it’s been very disappointing for Pacific islanders to see Kevin Rudd and Australia generally backing away from the tough emission targets that were once envisaged before it became obvious that these came with a political cost.
“We understand that Australia cannot be expected to operate in isolation. But it was a missed opportunity, nonetheless, to demonstrate to those of us who are most under threat that Australia stands with us to meet this challenge,” he said.
Commodore Bainimarama said as Pacific Small Island Developing States, we have to confront such inaction.
“We long ago came to the conclusion that individually, we cannot hope to achieve change. Only by using our collective strengths and influence can we persuade the world of the absolute imperative for an immediate response.”
To add more muscle to that effort, Fiji is forging yet another new alliance – between Pacific governments, civil society groups and business.
“The inaugural Pacific Islands Development Forum in Denarau last week was an outstanding success and Fiji is delighted to be hosting its new secretariat in Suva.
“For the first time, the chorus of Pacific Governments pleading for a better global response has been joined by other representatives of the grassroots, in civil society and business.”
The national summit is on for the week.
“Until now, these groups have been excluded from much of the decision-making process and especially the Pacific Islands Forum. Now, they are an integral part of our deliberations; Pacific islanders discussing Pacific solutions in the Pacific way – through consensus and compromise.
“Collectively, we are asking the world to finally deal with the issue of climate change while meeting that challenge ourselves as best we can.
“Ladies and gentlemen, you all bring particular skills and experience to these discussions over the next five days, just as you did at the first National Climate Change Summit.  I wish you well in your deliberations and urge you to work in a holistic manner, bringing the various strands together to devise solutions that are innovative, practical and affordable and can be easily communicated and understood.
“You can be sure of the Government’s full support as we work together on these challenges.  I certainly believe that we have demonstrated the will to do so in Fiji in a way that is sorely lacking at an international level.”



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