NEWS

Legal Implications Of Climate Change

Fiji is the only country that has offered assistance to Kiribati in terms of land when Kiribati started facing the effects of climate change. Acting Prime Minister and Attorney-General Aiyaz
07 Dec 2014 11:25
Legal Implications Of Climate Change
Photo: DEPTFO

Fiji is the only country that has offered assistance to Kiribati in terms of land when Kiribati started facing the effects of climate change.

Acting Prime Minister and Attorney-General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum however told conference participants at Natadola yesterday there were complex legal issues to consider regarding this offer.

For example he said: “What is relevant to us is that Fiji is the only country that has actually said to Kiribati that we will take you in if your island sinks; the only country in the world.

“We have given them this moral undertaking.

“But what does that mean? Do Kiribati people automatically become Fijians? Or do we give them permanent residency? Does it mean that Fijians get a Kiribati passport?

“They have bought land in Fiji. How will goods produced in these areas be treated? How will they treat it?

These are important legal issues to consider and indeed draft laws on,” Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said.

He also said the legal obligation of all the countries in the world was also a critical matter that needed to be seriously looked into.

“Climate change is very, very important to all of us. Some of us living on the peninsula in Suva or living up the hills of Simla may not think about it but the fact is that it is a reality for many Fijians and of course many other countries.

“The reality is also that countries that contribute the least and, in fact negligible amounts of greenhouse emissions, are most affected.

“That unfortunately, is a paradox and that is unfortunately, the reality”.

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