PM to G20: Don’t abandon Pacific

PRIME Minister and incoming COP23 President Voreqe Bainimarama has put G20 leaders on notice as they prepare to meet this week, saying nations affected by the climate crisis expect them to keep to the Paris Agreement.

The leaders of the G20 are expected to meet in Hamburg later this week and Mr Bainimarama has called on them not to abandon the Pacific.

“To the leaders of the G20: We have not caused this crisis, your nations have. As our opening prayer this morning put it, we have trodden lightly on the Earth whereas you have trodden heavily. And those carbon footprints pose a threat to us in the Pacific and to all humanity,” he said.

“The vulnerable nations expect you to genuinely work towards the objectives you agreed to in the Paris Agreement — to keep global temperatures well below 2 degrees Celsius above the pre-industrial level and pursue efforts to limit warming to 1.5 degrees.”

While opening the Climate Action Pacific Partnership event yesterday, Mr Bainimarama also addressed questions around his continuous travel to rally support for the battle against climate change.

“As the incoming president of COP23 — the ongoing UN climate negotiations — I still get some people saying to me: Why are you doing this? Why are you spending so much time travelling the world when you have a job to do in Fiji?

“And my simple answer is this: As Pacific Islanders, we are fighting for our very survival. For all we hold dear.

“For all that God has given us and has been entrusted to us by our forebears to care for and pass on to generations to come.

“And for some of our number, their very existence as sovereign nations with land and coastlines hangs in the balance.”

The Climate Action Pacific Partnership Event (CAPP) is part of the program of activities of the High Level Champions appointed under the Paris Agreement.

At the meet, Pacific leaders, civil society and the private sector are exchanging skills, knowledge and experience to design solutions to the challenges posed by climate change.

More than 300 delegates from across the Pacific are attending the two-day meeting.

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