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PM Presses For More On Climate

As Fiji prepares to hand over the presidency of the global climate negotiations to Poland, COP23 President, Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama, has called for a renewed effort on the part
01 Dec 2018 11:10
PM Presses For More On Climate
Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama

As Fiji prepares to hand over the presidency of the global climate negotiations to Poland, COP23 President, Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama, has called for a renewed effort on the part of world leaders to accelerate their response to climate change.

Describing the process as being at a “critical stage”, the Fijian leader said a much greater degree of political will was necessary to confront the magnitude of the climate threat.

“I think it is the great tragedy of our times that far too many people of power and influence are ignoring the science, the evidence all around us,” he said.

“Because they are putting short-term economic and political interests before our collective long-term interests. Before the sustainability of our environment, our economies and the very survival of life as we know it.”

Prime Minister Bainimarama was addressing a major gathering in London as part of the Talanoa Dialogue that Fiji has promoted under its COP Presidency to raise action and ambition in the climate struggle.

Dubbed the “Talanoa talks”, the event – at the Royal Institution – drew a number of influential speakers from politics, business, civil society and the arts community, including the British actor Ralph Fiennes and global music star Ellie Goulding.

In his speech of welcome, Prime Minister Bainimarama called for the high ambition for climate action that Fiji has promoted as COP23 President to continue under the COP24 Presidency of Poland.

“The Polish have adopted as a theme for their Presidency for the next 12 months what they call ‘A Just Transition’,” he said.

“I want to say as outgoing COP President that I agree with this. But it must not only be a just transition for those workers, regions and economies affected by the move from dirty energy to clean energy but a just transition for everyone. And especially the most climate vulnerable.

“Because natural justice also demands that those human beings who are facing extreme weather events, rising seas or changes to agriculture also be given the opportunity and the means to properly adapt.

“To make the transition to a more secure future in a frightening new era, that in many instances, they have played no part in causing,” he said.

The Talanoa Dialogue is to be one of the centrepieces at COP24 with a ministerial “talanoa” presided over by Fiji and Poland.

 




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