Act now be­fore it’s too late: PM to world com­mu­nity

Fiji Sun - - Front Page - NEMANI DELAIBATIKI Edited by Ranoba Baoa

Prime Min­is­ter Voreqe Bain­i­marama says “act now, there is no time to waste” on cli­mate change.

The COP23 pres­i­dent made the plea at a gath­er­ing of Cli­mate Min­is­ters at Mon­treal, Canada yes­ter­day.

“We gather in Mon­treal just days be­fore Cli­mate Week in New York and less than eight weeks be­fore COP23 it­self in Bonn,” he said. “And we do so newly re­minded of our obli­ga­tion to move the cli­mate ac­tion agenda for­ward by the ter­ri­ble suf­fer­ing we have wit­nessed in the Caribbean and south­ern United States.

“Friends, we have no time to waste. And I ap­peal to you all to use your author­ity – in­di­vid­u­ally and as gov­ern­ments - to put this at the very top of the global po­lit­i­cal agenda. And to en­sure that COP23 is the suc­cess it must be for the sake of all 7.5 bil­lion cit­i­zens of planet Earth.

“As you know, the pres­i­dency’s for­mal obli­ga­tion is to ad­vance the im­ple­men­ta­tion guide­lines of the Paris Agree­ment - the Im­ple­men­ta­tion Guide­lines - and to de­sign the 2018 Fa­cil­i­ta­tive Di­a­logue to foster more am­bi­tious cli­mate ac­tion. “But be­yond that, there are a num­ber of other press­ing is­sues fac­ing cli­mate vul­ner­a­ble na­tions - in­clud­ing my own - that I feel bound to bring to the fore­front dur­ing Fiji’s pres­i­dency.

“It is now an ab­so­lute im­per­a­tive for the whole world to limit global warm­ing to 1.5 de­grees above that of the in­dus­trial age. What is cur­rently the more am­bi­tious tar­get of the Paris Agree­ment must become the ab­so­lute bench­mark. And it must be achieved as quickly as pos­si­ble.

“We must also find the col­lec­tive will and the means to adapt to the ex­treme weather events, ris­ing sea lev­els and changes to agri­cul­ture associated with cli­mate change.

“I be­lieve there is now a gen­eral recog­ni­tion of the need to build the re­silience of vul­ner­a­ble na­tions, pro­vide them with bet­ter ac­cess to al­ter­na­tive en­ergy sources, and af­ford­able in­sur­ance to en­able them to re­cover more speed­ily from cli­mate re­lated events.

“As pres­i­dent, I will there­fore be call­ing on the com­mu­nity of na­tions to work to­gether in a spirit of friend­ship and co-op­er­a­tion to help meet the cli­mate adap­ta­tion chal­lenges of vul­ner­a­ble na­tions, in­clud­ing in some cases, the threat to their very ex­is­tence.

“It is an is­sue of fair­ness, nat­u­ral jus­tice and col­lec­tive re­spon­si­bil­ity that the whole world must con­front. And we have the ar­chi­tec­ture to do so in the Paris Agree­ment. We need to act now to bring Paris to life in real terms on the ground. I am ask­ing peo­ple of good­will ev­ery­where to join our Grand Coali­tion of gov­ern­ments at ev­ery level, civil so­ci­ety and the pri­vate sec­tor and act in con­cert be­fore it is too late.

“Friends, I am con­vinced that a holis­tic ap­proach of lim­it­ing the global tem­per­a­ture to 1.5 de­grees - cou­pled with build­ing re­silience for the vul­ner­a­ble - is the only way to meet this chal­lenge.

“We have the ev­i­dence upon which to act, and the agreed mile­posts from the Paris Agree­ment to guide our jour­ney.

“We now need to act with even greater ur­gency to de­sign the rules of the road for an ac­cel­er­ated tran­si­tion to a planet that can con­tinue to sus­tain us -- one that al­lows us to pros­per and flour­ish to our great­est po­ten­tial.

“And we will all be judged – each and ev­ery one of us - by the path we chose when we had power in our hands.

“I ap­peal to you all to sup­port this agenda.”

Photo: DEPTFO News

From left: Ex­ec­u­tive sec­re­tary of the United Na­tions Frame­work Con­ven­tion on Cli­mate Change (UNFCCC) Pa­tri­cia Espinosa, Prime Min­is­ter Voreqe Bain­i­marama and Canadian coun­ter­part Justin Trudeau dur­ing the gath­er­ing of Cli­mate Min­is­ters in Mon­treal Canada.

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