Developed Countries Failing Us: PM

Mr Obama said ongoing activism was necessary in between the COP conferences.
10 Nov 2021 16:52
Developed Countries Failing Us: PM
Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama was in a same panel with Barack Obama (left), the former President of the United States of America, at the US Centre in Glasgow, Scotland. Photo: Office of the Prime Minister

Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama on the first day of the final week of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change COP26 continued to question the ambition and commitment of developed countries.

Only this time it was across the table from former US President and island boy, Barack Obama.

Mr Bainimarama did not let the opportunity pass and pressed Mr Obama about the failure of the United States and developed countries to meet pledges to provide the promised US$100billion a year in climate finance.

“Among others, the USA is woefully short of paying its fair share of climate finance. Now we are most vulnerable and are told to suck it up and wait,” he said.

Mr Bainimarama was speaking at the ‘Partnership for Island Resilience Sharing Solutions in the Great Ocean States’.

He was blunt, but his intention at the climate negotiation is purely a “fight for survival.”

Mr Obama acknowledged that while the differences in numbers may not mean much to the big emitters, “the number 2.7 and 1.8 makes a big difference for island nations. And then 1.8 and 1.5 – that makes a big difference.

“So every degree to which we can mitigate counts…if we are following through on all the bold pronouncements, steps and pledges that have been made, then that’s real progress – notenough, but it moves us in the right direction.”

Mr Obama said ongoing activism was necessary in between the COP conferences.

This means citizen pressure on both the public sector and private sector actors need to ensure that there is actual followup and that we’re actually documenting that, he said.

Earlier in his introductory remarks, Mr Obama said that as an island kid, he had been shaped by his experience growing up in Hawaii.

“While I was President, I was proud of the work that we did to work with island nations that are most vulnerable to changing cli- mate. We have to act now to help with adaptation and resilience.”

Mr Obama’s arrival in the final week coincides with the focus on the nitty- gritty details that need to be agreed by over 190 countries to further implement the Paris agreement.

His aim is to highlight how far the world has come since the Paris agreement was reached six years ago but to also stress that more difficult work lies ahead.

Feedback: rosi.doviverata@


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