Bainimarama briefed on Fiji, Pacific priorities at COP26 to dodge disaster

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Fiji Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama being briefed at COP26
Fiji Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama being briefed on Pacific priority areas at COP26. Image: FT/Fiji govt

By Talebula Kate in Suva

Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama was briefed yesterday on Fiji’s priority areas ahead of the 26th Conference of Parties (COP26) which includes keeping 1.5 degrees alive, scaling up support for adaptation and loss and damage, oceans climate nexus, increased climate finance and finalising the Paris Agreement rule book.

Bainimarama is adamant that Fiji must stand its ground on keeping the 1.5 degrees target alive alongside its Pacific Island neighbours — a stand if not enforced would mean disaster for the Small Islands Developing States (SIDS).

At COP26, Fiji and SIDS must push for greater climate ambition from all G20 members — regardless of their development status — as low-lying nations in the Pacific are likely to become completely uninhabitable under the current emissions settings by 2050.

COP26 GLASGOW 2021

The COP26 is starting today in Glasgow where Bainimarama alongside other world leaders will deliver a national statement at the World Leaders Summit among other climate-related engagements.

Convened by the United Kingdom, the World Leaders Summit signifies the importance for world leaders to deliver concrete action and credible plans aimed at achieving successful COP goals and coordinated action to tackle climate change.

The Summit is also a vital opportunity for Bainimarama in his capacity as chair of the Pacific Island Forum (PIFs) to provide a voice not only for Fiji but for Pacific Island countries, particularly those which are unable to attend in person because of lockdown and challenges caused by covid-19.

The COP26 meeting is held this year with in-person attendance by leaders. No leader will attend virtually.

Bainimarama will also be meeting other heads of government to discuss issues of mutual concern along the margins of COP26.

Talebula Kate is a Fiji Times journalist. Republished with permission.

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