27 Sep 2021

Call for G20 to follow Pacific's net-zero carbon emissions by 2050

7:15 am on 27 September 2021

Fiji is calling on the global community to embrace the Pacific's vision of a better, greener, bluer and safer future for humanity.


.. Photo: Supplied/UN

While addressing the UN General Assembly on Sunday, the Fijian Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama challenged the developed countries to follow Fiji's lead in legislating a net-zero carbon emissions target by 2050.

Fiji's Parliament passed the Climate Change Act last week - that legally-binds the country to its commitment of net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.

"While I wish to be with you in New York, I am beholden to Fiji's shores for one of the most consequential parliamentary weeks in our history," said Bainimarama in a pre-recorded statement.

"We passed a Climate Change Act that legally-binds Fiji to its commitment of net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.

"The Act goes further, providing a legal framework for a carbon-neutral and climate-resilient Fiji by committing us to the 100 percent sustainable management of Fiji's ocean and climate mitigation and adaptation through nature-based solutions

"We want islands inhabited by citizens who stand with nature and not against it. We want sustainable economic growth that is powered by clean energy and protected from the impacts of climate change.

"We want robust and resilient health systems, and we want good jobs and income supported by a green and blue economy.

"To succeed, our vision must become the vision of humanity, because our fate is the world's."

Fiji's Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama addresses the UN General Assembly.

Fiji's Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama addresses the UN General Assembly. Photo: Supplied/UN

Speaking in support of the Act in Fiji's Parliament last week, Bainimarama stressed that every tonne of carbon emissions averted counted to stave off the worst of climate change.

The chair of the Pacific Islands Forum also warned that the world was on a course which is pushing that future even further out of reach.

Bainimarama said Covid-19 was "burning through humanity like a bushfire - and inequity is fanning the flames".

He said climate-driven catastrophes such as floods, heatwaves, fires and cyclones, have killed hundreds this year alone and caused immense damage.

"We must find new frontiers of co-operation if we stand any chance of averting future pandemics - or staving off the worst of climate change."

"If Small States are to build back greener, bluer, and better, we will need an equal voice about and vote on decisions that determine our future. Small States need our interests heard, understood, and acted upon."

Bainimarama's speech echoed those of other Pacific Island leaders speaking to the 76th UN General Assembly.

They all underlined the need for global solidarity, commitment and action to tackle Covid-19 and climate change - two crises, the Pacific leaders agreed, that threaten sustainable development in the region, and the world.

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