NEWS

A-G: Bill Creates Economic Opportunities For Landowners

The Bill that was passed in parliament yesterday aims to establish a comprehensive response to climate change, providing for the regulation and governance of the national response to climate change.
24 Sep 2021 12:13
A-G: Bill Creates Economic Opportunities For Landowners
Attorney-General and Minister for Economy Aiyaz-Sayed Khaiyum

The Climate Change Bill will create enormous economic opportunities to the landowners in Fiji.

This was the affirmation made by Attorney-General and Minister for Economy Aiyaz-Sayed Khaiyum in parliament yesterday.

The Bill that was passed in parliament yesterday aims to establish a comprehensive response to climate change, providing for the regulation and governance of the national response to climate change.

The piece of legislation introduces a system for the measurement, reporting and verification of greenhouse gas emissions and for related matters.

The bill also mandates national policies that set up clean energy requirements and introduces carbon trading.

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum in his deliberations said landowners could now participate in the carbon trading space and all the income gained from that trade would be theirs.

“Mr Speaker, landowners would have proprietary rights over the carbon trading space, they can go to the register of titles once they formed their entity, which will allow them to trade in carbon trading,” he said.

“All the money, not a single cent. Not a single cent will in fact, Mr Speaker, go to anybody else, other than the landowners and they can participate, they have the opportunity to participate in the international market with those companies.”

He said they would be conducting outreach programmes in the next few months to explain to landowners how this would work.

“Mr Speaker, so please I urge all the landowners that we will be having reach out programmes within the next few months, we’ll be telling them how it works.

“Already two landowner groups have already agreed to participate in this space with more information and we hope to actually give them a source of revenue that they currently have not had any access to.”

The Bill has been described as a blueprint for a carbon neutral and climate resilient Fiji.

 

Access to climate funding

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said there was no shame in seeking climate funding from countries that were major carbon emitters

“Sir, they said all we want to do is to get money.

“Of course, we want the money. If the sea levels are rising. If villages have to be moved to higher ground, 40 communities, you need money in particular from people who have caused it to happen in the first place.

“What is wrong with that? There’s nothing to be ashamed about.”

 

Opposition responses

SODELPA leader Viliame Gavoka argued that a majority did not fully understand the Bill.

He added there was a need to have more dialogue and consultations on it and there was no need for the Government to rush it over in parliament.

National Federation Party leader Biman Prasad said the Bill could not be supported in its present form because it lacked proper clarity.

He said while they appreciated the Government’s will to ensure that a law was in place, the legislation must be acceptable to the people.

Feedbackinoke.rabonu@fijisun.com.fj

 

 



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