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We Pacific people will not wait for events to control us.
This was the message Fijian Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama sent out while launching the Regional Pacific NDC Hub’s Strategy 2030 – a document that lays out climate action for the Pacific – its vision for sustainable, low-carbon growth and development and climate resilience
Speaking in Suva, Bainimarama said the Pacific welcomes solutions from everywhere, but will not wait for others to come up with them .
“I know that the impact of the combined efforts of all of us represented here will have a negligible effect on the global picture. But we still must do our part, for our own good. And we still must lead by example. The large emitters are coming along slowly. We need to push them to do more and to do it quickly.”
“We may have differences from time to time within the Pacific family—like all families—but in this we are united by the very strongest bonds. We are bound together to ensure our common destiny and protect our common heritage. Even as small countries, we can accomplish much by uniting our efforts and combining our strength—and never letting anything distract us from the existential threat we face together.
“We have known for a long time that we are nowhere close to putting the world on a pathway to keep global warming to 1.5°C by the end of this century. It is a deeply troubling fact, but it cannot be a pretext for losing hope. On the contrary, we need a greater commitment by large carbon emitters to reduce greenhouse gases. And we need to do more—to mitigate and to adapt,” said PM Bainimarama.
Bainimarama said he is proud that the region is rising to the challenge of climate change.
“From raising the ambition of our NDCs to reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and by making our infrastructure more resilient to committing to sustainable development and the goal of a blue economy for the Pacific.
“The more ambitious path that we are taking commits us to a faster transition to renewable energy, more efficient utilisation of our forests and mangroves – nature’s carbon capture – and a whole range of innovative mechanisms to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050,” he said.
Bainimarama also highlighted that the strategy 2030 was developed through robust country consultations and truly embodies the broader development agenda for the Pacific Island countries.
“Strategy 2030 reflects the fact that climate action and sustainable development are inseparable. As we rebuild our economies from the effects of the global COVID-19 pandemic, climate investments present a unique opportunity for Pacific economies to build back better and ensure a green, blue, and inclusive recovery.
“This will require a bit of ingenuity on our part as we develop our policies. It will require us to assertively seek genuine partnerships that translate these policies into action. We will have to make our case. And we will have to listen. But we must seize this opportunity,” said Bainimarama.
Through the Strategy 2030, we are working as a region to transform our societies, he said.
“We will have to change some of the ways to which we have become accustomed. In fact, everyone will have to change, not just us. We will have to revise our energy policies and adjust our economies to respect the hand that nature has dealt us. Today, we ask our development partners to renew your commitment to the Pacific NDC Hub and stay with us for the long term as we implement our NDCs.
This work is critical, and not just for us. The world is a place where innovations and revolutionary solutions can spring up anywhere. I dare say that we are already developing solutions that can be exported anywhere. And that will be one more contribution that we make,” said Bainimarama.
Meanwhile, the 10-Year strategy aims to improve NDC planning and policy, strategy, and legislation in Pacific island countries; strengthen enabling environment for NDC implementation; accelerate NDC action on the ground through project/programme implementation; and enhance NDC measurement, reporting and verification for transparency of action.
SOURCE: FBC NEWS/PACNEWS
Pacific Islands News Association
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International News Safety Institute (INSI)
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