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EDITORIAL: Bainimarama’s Plea To Trump Underscores His Passion About His Climate Change Campaign

US President-elect Donald Trump has caused concern among many countries including Fiji because of his views on climate change. He tweeted recently that the concept of global warming was created
17 Nov 2016 11:00
EDITORIAL: Bainimarama’s Plea To Trump Underscores His Passion About His Climate Change Campaign
Editorial

US President-elect Donald Trump has caused concern among many countries including Fiji because of his views on climate change.

He tweeted recently that the concept of global warming was created by and for the Chinese in order to make US manufacturing non-competitive.

He also wants to dismantle the Paris Agreement that sets targets to reverse the worst effects of global warming, which nearly 200 countries agreed to last December.

He said the US shouldn’t waste “financial resources” on climate change and should instead use them to ensure the world has clean water, eliminate diseases like malaria, increase food production, or develop alternative energy sources.

Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama appealed to him to change his position during COP22 in Marrakesh, Morocco. And he did not mince his words.

He said to Mr Trump: “I appeal to you to show the leadership that the rest of the world expects the United States to take on this issue. Please take another look at the overwhelming scientific consensus on the man-made effects of global warming. Please come as a matter of urgency to see for yourself the devastating impact that rising sea levels and extreme weather events are already having on our people and our way of life.”

Mr Bainimarama invited President-elect Trump to come to Fiji and see the effects of climate change and talk to the people who have been affected. Mr Bainimarama must be congratulated for his courage in speaking out against Mr Trump.

He has joined other world leaders in expressing their concerns about Mr Trump’s views as he continues to highlight the plight of our small island nations.

Fiji holds the distinction of being the first nation in the world to lodge its ratification instruments of the Paris Agreement. Signatories to the agreement decided to reduce their carbon output “as soon as possible” and to do their best to keep global warming “to well below 2 degrees C”

But Fiji is saying that’s not enough, it should come down to 1.5 degrees.

Mr Trump has gone against this international tide because he is oblivious to the challenges facing small maritime nations in danger of being swamped by rising sea levels.

He needs to take up Mr Bainimarama’s offer and come down to see for himself.

One of the greatest fears of climate change advocates is that the US is the world’s second-largest greenhouse gas polluter after China.

If it pulls out of the Paris Agreement it would weaken the growing international solidarity on climate change.

It would also mean withdrawing the millions it contributes to climate change work.

Under the Obama Administration, the US has established itself as a leader in seeking alternative energy to fossil fuel.

That could change under Mr Trump’s administration.

That’s why Mr Bainimarama made that appeal directly to Mr Trump.

Let’s hope that Mr Trump will reconsider his position under the weight of the growing collective lobby by world leaders.

Mr Bainimarama’s plea to Mr Trump underscores his passion in the climate change campaign.

NEMANI DELAIBATIKI

Feedback:  nemani.delaibatiki@fijisun.com.fj

 



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