Fiji Time: 4:08 PM on Monday 22 January

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Merkel: Paradises threatened

Avinesh Gopal In Berlin
Thursday, May 25, 2017

GERMANY and Fiji may be far apart, but the two countries are co-operating closely to stop the effects of climate change.

The German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, said this while addressing the 8th Petersberg Climate Dialogue in Berlin, Germany, yesterday.

Ms Merkel said Germany also had to bear its share of responsibility for carbon emissions.

She said climate change was a concern for small island states, with the rising sea levels and "the paradises of today being threatened".

She said the presidency of Fiji at COP23 in Bonn later this year was a sign of those small island countries affected by climate change.

"It's not about money, but about survival," she said.

Ms Merkel said everyone had to work together to deal with climate change.

Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama said with the issue of climate change, there was a certain uncertainty, which he termed as the "elephant in the room" — referring to the change in US administration.

Mr Bainimarama told Ms Merkel that small island states owed her gratitude, saying that she had also empowered him by backing Fiji's presidency of COP23.

"In a global context, that's a mark of true leadership and one that people of Fiji won't forget," he said.

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