NEWS

PM to Rally Nations for Paris Agreement

Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama said a number of countries who were united in Paris in 2015 were pulling out of the Paris Agreement on climate change. But in a short
20 Feb 2017 11:56
PM to Rally Nations for Paris Agreement
Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama.

Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama said a number of countries who were united in Paris in 2015 were pulling out of the Paris Agreement on climate change.

But in a short exclusive interview following the 2016 ANZ Fiji Excellence in Tourism Awards at the Sheraton Fiji Resort on Saturday, Mr Bainimarama said he would do everything he could as COP23 president to keep the Paris Agreement on track.

Earlier the Prime Minister told the large gathering at the awards function that the multilateral, decisive approach that all countries took in Paris to lower the global temperature was already being questioned.

“We have not started the negotiations yet but we have heard through the grapevine that a lot of people are trying to pull away from the Paris Agreement,” Mr Bainimarama said..

Fiji is the incoming President of COP23 – the ongoing United Nations negotiations to tackle the greatest challenge the world has ever faced.

Mr Bainimarama said as head of COP 23, his task was monumental but he would be driven on by the memories of those who had died during Tropical Cyclone Winston a year ago today.

“There have been talks of a softening up of the Paris Agreement by those who wanted to pull out but I hope they will come around,” he said.

“I will need to go back and talk to them,” Mr Bainimarama said.

In his incoming speech as President of COP 23 delivered on February 10, Mr Bainimarama called on all countries that were part of the Paris Agreement to work together as a global community to increase the proportion of finance available for climate adaptation and resilience building.

“We need a greater effort to develop products and models to attract private sector participation in the area of adaptation finance,” he said.

He had appealed to the entire world to support Fiji’s effort to continue building the global consensus to confront the greatest challenge of this age.

“We owe it not only to ourselves, but to future generations to tackle this issue head on before it is too late and will be counting on that support all the way to Bonn and beyond,” he said.

Mr Bainimarama said he owed it to the victims of TC Winston and to every other Fijian to fight as hard as he could to get the global community to stick to the promises they all made in Paris at the end of 2015.

“To reduce the carbon emissions that are causing global warming and the extreme weather events, rising seas and changing weather patterns that threaten our way of life and lives of billions of others around the world,” he said.

“We must stick to the plan we reached in the Paris Agreement, not walk away from it.”

“So as the ball is passed to me as COP 23 President, I will be striving to hold the team together, to move the global agenda forward and eventually secure victory for all 7.5 billion people on the planet.”

Edited by Rusiate Mataika

charles.chambers@fijisun.com.fj



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