Be the change ­— climate envoy

THE efforts to save the planet must not just be led by writing papers, conducting research, developing policies and programs, and negotiating agreements.

Instead, Fiji’s climate ambassador to COP23 in Bonn, Germany, Deo Saran says everyone should lead by example.

Speaking on the special train from Berlin bound for the UN Campus in Bonn, Mr Saran said it was up to individuals to live better.

“It is up to us to show the way, to live the ideals we encourage the world to embrace. This is in line with our choice to make COP23 a sustainable COP,” he said.

Mr Saran said as the COP23 presidency, Fiji fully supported the reduction of carbon footprints.

“You might be aware that by 2009 the Conference of the Parties had encouraged the UNFCCC to reduce greenhouse gas emissions related to its operations and activities, in line with the UN Neutrality Strategy.

“As the COP23 presidency, we fully support reducing the carbon footprint of COPs.

“We are being as ambitious as possible both in the negotiations and the action agenda, with very concrete actions that can be taken on the ground, and we must set a high standard.

“For example, all participants going to COP23 are being strongly encouraged to travel by train or tram once on site.”

He said people needed to act now to change the way they lived, consumed and moved around.

“Each of us has a responsibility,” Mr Saran said.

“As the first island State to be presiding over the negotiations, Fiji is bringing a sense of urgency to COP23.

“The people who live in the Pacific are already being greatly affected by the impacts of climate change.

“Our people rely on the oceans and on their land to feed their families. If there is no more fish and no more soil to grow food, they will need to move.”

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