Commitments to reducing greenhouse gas emissions “simply inadequate”

Fijian Prime Minister and COP23 President Frank Bainimarama in a group photo with delegates from the 35 countries participating in the 9th Petersberg Climate Dialogue. Picture: FIJIAN GOVERNMENT/FACEBOOK

FIJI’S Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama says the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) for reducing greenhouse gas emissions arising from the Paris Agreement are “simply inadequate”.

Mr Bainimarama raised this while speaking at the at the Petersberg Climate Dialogue on the Talanoa Dialogue for increased climate ambition.

“Instead of limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius above that of the pre-industrial age – the most ambitious Paris target – they are set to produce warming of at least 3 degrees by century’s end,” he said.

“And that would be catastrophic for all humanity – including the loss of entire nations, widespread shortages of food and water, more disease, hundreds of millions of people displaced and the almost certain breakdown of the global order as nations fight over scarce resources.”

The NDCs or Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) arises from the Paris Agreement which are efforts by each country to reduce national emissions and adapt to the impacts of climate change.

Mr Bainimarama raised the need to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2050, which is in other words meant raising countries NDCs as much as it takes to meet that deadline in 32 years’ time.

“Because I am convinced it is the only way we can keep within the 1.5 degree warming target of the Paris Agreement,” he said.

“And the only way we can address the scale of the current threat, preserve the lives and livelihoods of all 7.5 billion people on earth, and preserve the health of the planet that is our only home.”

Mr Bainimarama also stressed to leaders the need to embrace a fundamental truth: “If you aren’t vulnerable now, you soon will be.”

“And the only way for us to put our nation’s first is to lock arms with all other nations and move forward together,” he said.

“Because if each country tries to preserve its narrow national interests, we will all lose. We will be powerless to protect our own people from the consequences of climate change.”