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PM To Leaders: Pick Up Buckets And Start Bailing

Along with other world leaders, Mr Bainimarama was invited by the UK Government to take part in the Action and Solidarity – the Critical Decade at the Scottish Events Centre, Blue Zone.
03 Nov 2021 17:00
PM To Leaders: Pick Up Buckets And Start Bailing
Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama with the President of Palau, Surangel Whipps Jr, in Glasgow, Scotland. Photo: Rosi Doviverata

The use of the iTaukei phrase, “Tu ga na i nima luvu na waqa” speaks volume about the state of big carbon emitters and their lack of commitment towards the climate crisis.

Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama, during his final speaking engagement yesterday, spelt out yet again that the canoe that had set sail four years ago is starting to sink despite the presence of bailers.

At the time (COP23), the responsibility of steering the canoe was up to those who were willing to change course, grab the paddles and row into safe waters.  Leaders of countries that continue to be severely impacted by the changing climate are often the ones in the driving seat.  

But as Mr Bainimarama pointed out, island nations, like Fiji, have teaspoons with which to bail water.

“The G20 nations have buckets. Yet too many are wilfully ignoring the storms on the horizon and the holes in our canoe.”

The holes are a result of massive gaps in ambition, gaps in climate finance, and gaps in emissions reduction commitments.

Mr Bainimarama again reiterated that they must cut emissions –– now –– to set our canoe towards the calm of carbon-neutral seas and they need to start bailing –– now –– by meeting their climate finance pledges before our canoe sinks to the seabed.   

Along with other world leaders, Mr Bainimarama was invited by the UK Government to take part in the Action and Solidarity – the Critical Decade at the Scottish Events Centre, Blue Zone.

He pointed out that:

  • Small Island Developing States have accessed a mere two percent of the available finance, which was mostly been through loans –– forcing us to pay high interest rates to address climate-driven impacts we did not cause. 
  • Wealthy nations must do more than pledge finance, they must make it affordable and accessible, and they must actually ensure that it reaches the communities it’s meant to aid –– for mitigation, but mainly for adaptation purposes. 
  • By 2025, much higher levels of commitment will be required –– USD$750 Billion Dollars annually in climate finance, ten percent of which is dedicated to SIDS, as well as a dedicated mechanism for the losses and damages we have already sustained. 
  • Wealthy nations spend trillions on defence partnerships and on weapons that can level entire communities, surely we can spend billions to adapt them.

Mr Bainimarama’s message to the leaders in Glasgow was simple:

“To all Leaders here; the message of the Pacific is simple: Our canoe is sinking. Pick up your buckets and start bailing, now, before it’s too late.  (Tu ga na i nima luvu na waqa.)

Feedback: rosi.doviverata@fijisun.com.fj



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