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Schwarzenegger Embraces Talanoa Concept, Praises PM

“I met him in Paris and we really love the energy that he brings to this whole environmental movement,” Arnold Schwarzenegger said of Mr Bainimarama. Former California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger
29 Oct 2018 13:51
Schwarzenegger Embraces Talanoa Concept, Praises PM
Fijian Ambassador to the United States Solo Mara (front, left), with famed actor and former California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger at the latest COP23 Talanoa Session on Climate Finance in Los Angeles, California in the United States on October 26, 2018. Photo: Solo Mara

“I met him in Paris and we really love the energy that he brings to this whole environmental movement,” Arnold Schwarzenegger said of Mr Bainimarama.

Former California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger has expressed his gratitude to Fijian Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama for infusing the concept of Talanoa dialogue into his COP23 Presidency.

While speaking at a high level Talanoa dialogue chaired by him in Los Angeles, Mr Schwarzenegger said Mr Bainimarama has been an extraordinary leader.

“I met him in Paris and we really love the energy that he brings to this whole environmental movement,” Mr Schwarzenegger said.

He acknowledged Fiji’s Ambassador to the United States of America Solo Mara for attending the meeting and highlighted that he loves how Fijians conduct discussions.

“You hate policy talks, but you like to share stories and that is why you see that kind of environment here; the Talanoa Dialogue,” he said.

In a short video welcome Mr Bainimarama thanked Mr Schwarzenegger for convening the Talanoa dialogue on climate finance and also thanked those present.

“As Fijian Prime Minister and COP23 President I want to say how much I appreciate you all for embracing the Pacific concept of talanoa and bringing it into the urgent task of raising more finance for the climate vulnerable,” Mr Bainimarama said.

“We are looking forward to hearing your stories and taking your messages with us to COP24.”

He stressed that climate change was too big an issue to leave to national governments alone.

“We need the energy, the commitment and the innovation of sub-national players,” Mr Bainimarama said.

“The grand coalition that has always been the centrepiece of my COP Presidency because this is the only way that we are going to effectively tackle this crisis.”

He said he was informed by scientists that the goal of limiting warming to 1.5 degree Celsius is still possible but is quickly moving out of reach, adding that we need to move a lot faster with everyone’s help needed.

“I want to pay tribute to Arnold Schwarzenegger for his own bold leadership of the climate struggle.

“As he once said about me, ‘we are kicking some serious butt’ and together with all of you I know we can terminate the current complacency and lack of resolve and do what is necessary to protect the vulnerable and save our planet.”

Mr Mara commented that the kind of leadership that Mr Bainimarama offers was “absolutely critical if we are to have any chance in turning the tide of global warming”.

Edited by Percy Kean

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