Fijian Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama has met with the COP26 President,  Alok Sharma to discuss Fiji’s support towards the United Kingdom COP26 Presidency.

Prime Minister Bainimarama said their discussions during the bilateral meeting was focused on how Fiji could assist the UK Presidency to reach a successful outcome at the end of COP26 and the urgent need to complete the Paris Rule Book, deliver on climate finance promises and most importantly keeping the climate ambition raised for a 1.5 degree future.

“I reaffirm my support to you Mr President to do what we can to help you reach a successful outcome at the end of the two weeks. But do note that any outcome that is not consistent with a 1.5 degree future will not be acceptable to the Pacific – it is an existential matter for us.” said Prime Minister Bainimarama.

Representing 80 per cent of emissions, the Prime Minister reiterated the need to put pressure on the G20 nations as they have a particular responsibility to keep the 1.5 degree global warming goal alive.

“I will leverage every ounce of power and moral authority to put pressure on the G20 to reaffirm its promise – after all, they are responsible for nearly 80 per cent of global greenhouse emissions,” he added.

PM Bainimarama also discussed Fiji’s national climate change priorities with Sharma and in his capacity as the Chair of the Pacific Island Forum (PIF) echoed the Pacific Island’s commitment to the goals of the Paris Agreement and to our regional positions as articulated in our Kainaki II Declaration, which calls for urgent climate action, recognizes the interlinkages between climate change and oceans, and calls for the international community to meet its climate financing commitments.

As former COP President, Prime Minister Bainimarama reassured his support towards Sharma stating from personal experience, the responsibility placed upon this role is vital in ensuring we stay with 1.5 degree or lose our homes forever – and that what was promised in Paris must be delivered in Glasgow.

Meanwhile, Fiji’s priorities for COP26 is targeted towards mobilising greater climate ambition from all countries and improving access to affordable and equitable finance for Small Islands Developing States like our Blue Pacific.

This was reiterated by Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama during the Pacific Roundtable along the margins of the COP26.

Bainimarama said that the science is clear that we need far greater decarbonisation commitments by large greenhouse-gas-emitting countries and “we will need them to urgently commit to more ambitious Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) aligned with net zero emissions by 2050”.

“While the COVID-19 pandemic has really challenged the global community to reconsider, re-strategise and develop more innovative ways to work towards a sustainable socio-economic recovery, I am glad that we have not lost sight of key global priorities and are able to gather in Glasgow to continue our discussions on this very important priority,” he said.

“COP26 is our final opportunity to keep the 1.5 degrees threshold within reach, and ensure the survival of the world’s most vulnerable economies and long-term prosperity and security for all.”

Prime Minister Bainimarama, at the same time, acknowledged Australia’s commitment towards achieving net-zero emissions by 2050.

“The significant investment and commitment made towards clean technologies and products are strongly commended and will certainly complement your efforts to achieving net-zero emissions,” he added.

On climate financing, Prime Minister Bainimarama stressed that there’s a need to raise additional finances for adaptation as the impacts of climate change will have us spending billions on adaptation.

“We will need to hold the international community accountable to their climate financing commitments,” he said.

Other discussions at the meeting also focused on displacement in the Pacific, candidacy for the position of the Commonwealth Secretary General and the need to utilize technology to resolve emissions.

This story was published at the Fijian Government on 3 November 2021, reposted via PACNEWS.

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