18th April 2018
As world leaders from around the Commonwealth meet this week in London, Fijian Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama called on some of the world’s most powerful nation states to take urgent and decisive action against the onset of climate change.
At the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting, Bainimarama pleaded with leaders representing 2.4 billion members of our global population to confront the present environmental crisis and drastically increase their climate commitments.
Speaking on behalf of his effected nations people, he called for a target that limited the global warming increase to 1.5 degrees Celsius above that of the pre-industrial age. While greenhouse gas emission reductions have been agreed upon at the recent Paris Agreement, Bainimarama argued that they are wholly insufficient and fail to even remotely meet required figures.
As president for the COP23 movement and Prime Minister of an island nation that is daily effected by climate change, Mr Bainimarama slammed the current target of a 3 degree Celsius increase by the end of the century as catastrophic, not just for nations currently vulnerable to climate change but for the entire world.
These comments come just days after Fiji experienced another fatal cyclone. The Prime Minister announced that the country has now entered a “frightening new era” and “are now at an almost constant level of threat from these extreme weather events that are becoming more frequent and more severe because of climate change."
Bainimarama went on to comment on the strength of the Fijian people; “as a nation we are starting to build our resilience in response to the frightening new era that is upon us," he said.
Describing these times as “a fight for our very survival”, Bainimarama emphasised the “need to get the message out loud and clear to the entire world about the absolute need to confront this crisis head on.”