NEWS

Seruiratu To Set Tone For PM’s Statement

Inia Seruiratu will today deliver the national statement on the state of ocean in relation to climate change. It is expected to set the tone before Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama
30 Nov 2015 11:38
Seruiratu To Set Tone For PM’s Statement

Inia Seruiratu will today deliver the national statement on the state of ocean in relation to climate change.

It is expected to set the tone before Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama delivers the main climate change statement at COP21, on behalf of small island states.

The Minister for Agriculture, Rural & Maritime Development and National Disaster Management’s statement will come on the eve of COP21 (21st Conference of Parties) or the 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference.

Mr Seruiratu will  attend the launch of the “Because the Ocean” event in Paris, France.

The high level event  and conference will see Mr Seruiratu participate in a round table discussion that will be moderated by former BBC environmental correspondent, Richard Black.

He will sign a declaration underlying the critical importance of the ocean in addressing the root causes of climate change.

The event is sponsored by the French Ministry of Ecology and Sustainable Development, the Chilean Ministry of External Affairs, the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation, the Global Ocean Commission, the Institute for Sustainable Development and International Relations, and Tara Expeditions.

Fiji has been invited to participate at this key event in recognition of its active role on the global stage in promoting the sustainable management of the ocean and its resources.

Mr Seruiratu is accompanied by Minister for Fisheries and Forests, Osea Naiqamu, and other senior Government officials.

Mr Bainimarama is expected to re-emphasise his climate change statements of the past. He has said “while we have negligible contributions as Pacific islanders to the carbon emissions that are warming the planet, we are enduring most of the negative impacts through rising seas and extreme weather events.” He wants industrialised nations to embrace drastic cuts in carbon emissions.

“As you all know, we hold grave fears here in the Pacific of the consequences for our people if our calls go unheeded –  the very survival of some nations and the loss of valuable coastal land in others. No nation can afford to be part of what I have called the coalition of the selfish. No nation can presume to put its economic interests before the wider interests of global citizens the world over.

“I am also asking these nations to consider the positive consequences of embracing change themselves. To reconfigure their economies for a more sustainable energy future. To embrace the use of sustainable energy sources such as hydroelectric and solar power instead of fossil fuels and especially coal. “For their own sakes, as much as for ours.

“If the industrial nations act now – take the hard decisions now – we have a fighting chance to save the Pacific and to save the planet. But if they don’t, they are not only sacrificing our interests in Paris but delaying the inevitable for themselves.”

He has said that it is “abundantly clear that the whole world cannot continue on its present course.

“We must choose a more sustainable energy future now or wind up having no real future at all.

“We must not let the opportunity that Paris presents escape us.  We must not fail our people or our planet.”

nemani.delaibatiki@fijisun.com.fj



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