Sunday, May 26, 2024
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Rabuka raises global temperature concerns

Prime Minister and Minister for Environment and Climate Change Sitiveni Rabuka says the world is not on track to keep the global average temperature rise below 1.5 degrees Celsius.

In his Ministerial Statement in Parliament, Rabuka said keeping global temperature rise below 1.5 degrees is not a political objective, or by perspectives or preferences, instead, it is a guardrail identified by thousands of leading scientists and is a threshold, beyond which, life on earth changes dramatically.

Rabuka said in the Pacific – the difference between 1.5 and two or three degrees is the difference between the habitability of our island homes and forced mitigation.

He said it is the difference between catching your fish and growing your family’s food or being wholly dependent on imported protein. It is the difference between economic sovereignty and fully-fledged dependence on external aid and disaster relief.

He said COP28 was mandated to reflect on progress made since the Paris Agreement agreed in 2015 (COP21) 7 years prior. The final decision text agreed upon in Dubai – which is referred to as the UAE Consensus, documents the lack of progress made.

“While there are a few large economies that continue to push against this transition, many are working hard to embrace it and there is increasing potential in the uptake of renewable energy.”

“To ramp up our efforts to decarbonise our economy we need to be clear on why we are pursuing decarbonisation in Fiji. With our minimal contribution to global emissions, our reasoning is more about the economic benefits of this transition.”

The Prime Minister highlighted that Fiji is heavily dependent on imported fossil fuels and as such we are exposed to the increasing oil price volatility, we see annually.

He said the price of oil impacts all aspects of our daily lives. It is felt across our lives.

“It drives our inflation and the high cost of living,” he said.

The Prime Minister also highlighted that the Government intends to accelerate adaptation programming to build resilience and create a prosperous future for our communities.

Rabuka said 2024, the Government will focus on the following priorities on the domestic front:

  • Delivering against the Strategic Implementation Roadmap for Fiji’s Climate Change Act to increase collaboration across sectors and better coordinate efforts.
  • Increasing access to financing through the new Loss and Damage Fund; the new Pacific Resilience Facility; and other international climate finance mechanisms.
  • Engaging effectively in global negotiations on the new quantified collective goal for climate finance in preparation for COP29

“Within Government and the nation, addressing climate change and preventing further harm to the people of Fiji is a bipartisan priority, which is above politics,” the Prime Minister added.

Ilaitia Ravuwai
Ilaitia Ravuwai
Journalist | news@fijilive.com

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