Opinion

Let Us Back Climate Change, Ocean Campaign

Preliminary reports coming from areas in the path of Tropical Cyclone Ella in the Northern Division and northern Lau showed that people were not taking any chances. They were taking
12 May 2017 09:41
Let Us Back Climate Change, Ocean Campaign
Heavy winds during a Cyclone.

Preliminary reports coming from areas in the path of Tropical Cyclone Ella in the Northern Division and northern Lau showed that people were not taking any chances.

They were taking all the necessary precautions to prepare for any eventuality.

TC Ella had jumped from Category One to Category Two and who knows what could happen next.

The high level of alert and preparation demonstrates that people are taking heed of the advice and the warning.This time last year we were still counting the losses from TC Winston and rebuilding.

TC Winston hit us in February at the height of the cyclone season.

TC Ella has come to us outside the cyclone season with a clear message. Forget about the November-April cyclone season. Climate change has made it open season. We can be hit any time of the year.

This is the reality of the situation we face. The wild weather patterns clearly tell us that we are in the throes of major weather and climatic changes.

That is why we should take climate change seriously because it now affects our daily existence. That is also why our Prime Minister is at the forefront of international globalnegotiations on climate change.

He is heading the Fijian presidency of COP23. The COP23 summit will be in Bonn, Germany, in November.

Before that Fiji will co-host the United Nations World Oceans Conference in New York next month.

Both events share common interests.

Climate change is caused by global warming because of carbon emissions.

Pollution and the destruction of natural resources like trees are contributing factors.

The oceans, one of our important food sources, are under threat because of the growing rubbish and filth we throw into the sea.

The biggest threat comes from a growing amount of plastics ending up in the oceans. The fear is that if we don’t drastically do something now then eventually the plastics will choke the oceans and marine life.

We need to support the national efforts to lower our carbon emissions and keep our oceans clean by not littering.

Many of our vehicles on the road are still emitting thick black smoke. That needs to be addressed. Simple common sense things like putting rubbish in a bin instead of throwing it on the road will go a long way towards achieving our goals on clean green image and sustainable resources.

A plan to discourage the use of plastics in shops and supermarkets by charging a fee is a positive move. But it would be much better if we ban plastic bags at checkout counters. People should be encouraged to take their own shopping bags.

This is an important year when we can stamp our mark on the international scene by our lead roles in discussions on climate change and oceans. Equally important is how we are applying these issues in our daily lives.

We should do the best we can to lower carbon emission and global temperature and keep our oceans clean. But we must also be prepared for the worst like people in the North are doing as they brace themselves for TC Ella.

Feedback: nemani.delaibatiki@fijisun.com.fj



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