Climate change challenge

Fred Wesley | Tuesday, May 23, 2017
PRIME Minister and COP23 president Voreqe Bainimarama has made no bones about what he wants to see in our region.

He wants climate action in the Pacific.

Opening the 8th Petersberg Climate Dialogue in Berlin, Germany, yesterday, he said there was a particular interest in our oceans and seas "because they are our lifeblood".

Rising sea levels, as well as ocean acidity and warmer waters, he said, have a direct effect on our reefs and fish stocks and the prosperity of our coastal communities.

So oceans and climate change aren't separate. They are interlinked, he said.

It is a point he will be making very strongly next month when he co-chairs with Sweden the Ocean Conference in New York.

The PM will also be emphasising a technological and business transformation "that can make the economic lives of our people better, while at the same time reducing emissions".

The challenge, he said, was to take these innovations and scale them up so that they could become more accessible around the world.

Fiji, he said, would not be able to give a voice to the most vulnerable as president of the process without the help of Germany.

He made reference to the combination of Europe's largest economy and a small island developing state like Fiji, labelling it as symbolic of the kind of co-operation that is needed for success.

The partnership, he said, is "rooted in the firm belief of both our nations that the fates of the developed and developing world are inter-connected".

"To put it simply, we are all in the same canoe together."

For us to provide hope and security for our children and succeeding generations, he said, there has to be a concerted effort to ensure the idea takes root around the world.

At the international level, it is encouraging to see the PM leading the charge.

The challenge though is on us as individuals back home to declare our interest, and stake our claim in the sand so to speak about our commitment.

It is how we make changes to how we live our lives that is important in the campaign to appreciate this global issue.

Yesterday we ran a report about how Matthias Duwe, the head of the climate unit at the Ecologic Institute in Berlin, Germany, has walked the talk so to speak.

He cycles to work daily as part of his contribution to making a difference.

Whatever your take is on climate change and its impact on our nation, we can only hope you will take time out to engage and be aware of issues linked to it.

Whether it changes your perspective or not is another issue.

Home | Top