Climate change adaptation to cost Fiji billions, says PM

THE Climate Vulnerability assessment has found that by 2050 Fiji’s annual losses because of extreme weather events could reach 6.5 per cent of GDP, which would push 32,000 Fijians to hardship every year.

This was revealed by Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama during the launch of the “Our home, Our People story in Virtual Reality” at the Suva City Library yesterday.

Mr Bainimarama said the assessment had also estimated that it would cost Fiji billions to be able to adapt to climate change.

“It also finds that over 10 years, an estimated 9.3 billion Fijian dollars will be needed to build resilience and the capacity to adapt to climate change — almost equivalent to our entire GDP for a year,” Mr Bainimarama said.

The report was compiled by the Fijian Government with the support of the World Bank and ACP — European Union Natural Disaster Risk Reduction Program.

World Bank’s resident representative to the Pacific, Lasse Melgaard, said the assessment outlined key questions on climate change impacts.

“The preparation of the assessment was an intensive effort by the Fijian Government and the support from a team at the World Bank that addresses specific questions that arise in many countries when considering the impacts of climate change,” Mr Melgaard said.

“Such as, what are the threats to major development sectors, what progress has been done in past years, what are the priorities and the costs of climate resilient actions and what can be done now in terms of the investments also from policy changes planning to reduce the increase risk of climate change to developing in 30-50 years.”

Mr Melgaard added efforts by the Fijian Government to reduce and prepare for climate change and disaster risks were critical for the enhanced nationally determined contributions (NDCs).

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