Demand your future, PM tells youths

Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama shares a light moment with a guest during the 2019 UN Climate Change Confererence-COP 25 in Madrid, Spain. Picture: OFFICE OF THE PRIME MINISTER

PRIME Minister Voreqe Bainimarama has reminded Pacific youths that adapting to climate change is a much more urgent priority than reducing negligible levels of emissions.

In his opening address at the high level talanoa with Pacific youths on the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) in Spain yesterday, Mr Bainimarama said effective adaptation was inseparable from sustainable economic development.

Mr Bainimarama said governments that fell short of robust climate action were not only failing the global community, but the coming generations as well.

“They are denying their own people measurable gains in wellbeing; people they are entrusted to serve and protect,” he said.

“That is the message we’ll be driving home throughout this COP and beyond.

“Our progress isn’t only about meeting global commitments. It is, quite simply, about making it better to be a Fijian.

“Our communities and ecosystems are safer and more vibrant when we replant trees and mangroves and recover our reefs and our children enjoy greater security in schools built to higher standards.”

Mr Bainimarama urged youths to raise their voices in demanding a bright future.

“Use your voices to challenge anyone, including those who might be older and seemingly more powerful, who dismiss your calls for action or pretend your future does not matter.

“Use your voice to stake your claim.

“Demand the future you know is right and know is possible.”

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