Re­gion Backs PM

Fiji Sun - - Two Children, Father Found Dead In Ba - ILAIJIA RAVUWAI RE­PORT­ING FROM FUNAFUTI, TU­VALU

Pa­cific is­land coun­tries have ral­lied be­hind Prime Min­is­ter Voreqe Bain­i­marama’s call to re­duce global warm­ing to 1.5 de­gree Cel­sius.

Their support came in the form of the ‘Tu­valu Dec­la­ra­tion on Cli­mate

Change for the Sur­vival of Small Is­land De­vel­op­ing States’.

In a com­mu­nique af­ter their Sau­ta­laga event (ta­lanoa ses­sion) on Mon­day, which Mr Bain­i­marama opened, they called for the dec­la­ra­tion to be a frame­work for the Pa­cific Is­lands Fo­rum to work on. The core points on the cli­mate change battle raised by Mr Bain­i­marama are in the dec­la­ra­tion.

The fo­rum meet­ing be­gins to­day. Tu­val­uan Prime Min­is­ter Enele Sopoaga has ex­pressed deep con­cerns at the find­ing of the re­port of the In­ter­gov­ern­men­tal Panel on

Cli­mate Change (IPCC) on the 1.5 de­gree Cel­sius target, which out­lines the risks to Small Is­land De­vel­op­ing States in­clud­ing ma­rine ecosys­tems.

“This is ex­actly the call of the Fi­jian Prime Min­is­ter,” he said. Mr Sopoaga said Mr Bain­i­marama had been say­ing that ef­forts to se­cure the 1.5 de­gree Cel­sius target were in­suf­fi­cient and ur­gent ac­tion was needed.

“We also call on world lead­ers, heads of in­ter­gov­ern­men­tal and non-gov­ern­men­tal or­gan­i­sa­tions, busi­ness lead­ers and all peo­ple to ac­knowl­edge that we are al­ready fac­ing a cli­mate change cri­sis and to dras­ti­cally ac­cel­er­ate a global re­sponse to achieve the goals of cli­mate change mit­i­ga­tion.

The ‘Sau­ta­laga’ event has reaf­firmed also the United Na­tions Sec­re­tary-Gen­eral’s call for an im­me­di­ate global ban on the con­struc­tion of new coal fire power plants and coal mines and a rapid phas­ing out of coal in the power sec­tor.

Out­go­ing chair, the Pres­i­dent of Nauru, Baron Waqa, has in­vited part­ners to en­hance the ca­pa­bil­ity of is­land coun­tries to mit­i­gate en­vi­ron­men­tal health risks, de­velop and im­ple­ment poli­cies for the re­duc­tion of the health im­pacts of cli­mate change.

The Aus­tralian Min­is­ter for In­ter­na­tional De­vel­op­ment and Pa­cific, Alex Hawke, called a press con­fer­ence just min­utes be­fore the Small Is­land States started. Coal is an im­por­tant in­dus­try in the Aus­tralian econ­omy.

Photo: Ilaijia Ravuwai

Mem­bers of the Fi­jian com­mu­nity wel­com­ing Prime Min­is­ter Voreqe Bain­i­marama on Au­gust 12, 2019, at the Univer­sity of the South Pa­cific (USP) cam­pus in Tu­valu.

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