Fiji set to commit stronger climate action

Fijian Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama addresses the One Planet Summit in New York. Picture: FIJIAN GOVERNMENT/Facebook

FIJI is set to raise its nationally determined contributions or NDCs by next year, engaging other sectors of the economy to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050.

Fijian Prime Minister and COP23 president Voreqe Bainimarama announced this on the sidelines of the One Planet Summit in New York.

This means that Fiji’s NDCs, which are efforts by each country to reduce national emissions, will now no longer be specific to the energy sector.

“Fiji’s new NDC will no longer cover just the energy sector, but potentially other critical sectors such as land transport, maritime transport, domestic aviation, waste, agriculture and forestry,” Mr Bainimarama said.

“As part of this comprehensive, whole-of-economy approach, we have identified the potential evolution of these sectors in business-as-usual, high-ambition, and very-high-ambition scenarios.

“This has included identifying feasible low-carbon development options that have the potential to reduce carbon emissions, enhance carbon sinks and build resilience.”

Fiji’s current NDC is specific to the energy sector both in terms of a GHG baseline, where 2013 is considered the reference year, and in terms of potential mitigation actions.

In effect, this means that Fiji’s current mitigation under the NDC/Paris Agreement relates only to the energy sector, which includes CO2 emissions from electricity, industry, and transport.

Mr Bainimarama said Fiji would now engage all sectors of the economy to prepare a long-term decarbonisation strategy for net-zero emissions by 2050.

This, he said, would inform the preparation of the new NDC.

 

President of the Republic of the Marshall Islands Hilda Heine with the Fijian Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama have joined hands to become the first countries to signal their unreserved intention to raise ambition of Nationally Determined Contributions by 2020. Picture: FIJIAN GOVERNMENT/Facebook

 

Fiji joins Marshall Islands to become the first two countries to signal unreserved intention to raise the ambition of its NDCs by 2020.

“While there is certainly pride attached in being amongst the first, in the end, this isn’t a race against each other, it’s a race against time. And time is running out,” Mr Bainimarama said.

“Only when many others, including much larger emitters, join us in committing to strengthened targets will we tip the scales back in the planet’s favour and put the world back on track to achieving the temperature goals set by the Paris Agreement.”

Setting the bar as the first countries to show the world concrete steps on the path of raising the ambition of NDCs, Mr Bainimarama called on the global community to follow their lead.

“It’s decision time. Collectively, it’s time to decide what kind of future we want,” he said.

“The current commitments we have all made under the Paris Agreement have put us in the race, but we’re currently running far too slowly to have any chance of winning – if we define winning as preserving the quality of life on earth as we know it.

“We will win or lose this race together.”

The Prime Minister also acknowledged the work being done by some other countries in this direction and said he looked forward to hearing similar announcements soon, including during the political phase of the Talanoa Dialogue at COP24.

Fiji’s new NDC would be informed by the work currently being undertaking to finalise the country’s long-term decarbonisation strategy for net-zero emissions by 2050, which will be launched at COP24 this December.

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