Turn to the nation's most objective and informative daily environmental news resource to learn how the United States and key players around the world are responding to the environmental...
The incoming president of the 2017 United Nations climate talks implored U.S. President Donald Trump to keep the world’s second-largest greenhouse gas emitter as a participant in the global Paris Agreement to fight climate change.
“The world needs more teamwork on climate change right now than ever before,” Fiji Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama said May 2 at a carbon conference in Melbourne, Australia—his first major speech in his role as incoming president. “We can’t have one of our best performers abandon the field of play.”
Bainimarama said he wrote to Trump urging him to “continue to take a leadership role as we confront undoubtedly the greatest challenge of our age.”
“We must preserve at all costs the historic agreement that was reached in Paris in 2015,” Bainimarama said. “The Paris Agreement must be implemented in full and the groundwork laid for even more ambitious action. ... That means every nation fulfilling the pledges they made in Paris and demonstrating an unwavering commitment to see this process through.”
During his campaign for president, Trump called climate change a hoax and vowed to withdraw the U.S.—which trails only China among the world’s greenhouse-gas emitters—from the Paris climate accord. Trump has yet to announce a decision as his administration remains divided over U.S. action.
But even if the U.S. remains in the Paris deal, it’s unclear what role the country would play in the coming years. Trump has directed the Environmental Protection Agency to roll back carbon dioxide limits for power plants, the heart of the country’s pledge to reduce its emissions by at least 26 percent from 2005 levels by 2025.
Fiji this year holds the presidency of the U.N. climate negotiations, taking the reins from Morocco, which held it in 2016. At the 23rd conference of parties to the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change in November in Bonn, Germany, negotiators will continue work on how nearly 200 signatory nations will implement the Paris Agreement.
But if governments fail to take decisive action, Bainimarama said the role of businesses and citizens becomes even more important.
“When governments fail to lead, the private sector must do so, as is happening already in America,” he said.
“When the call to action goes unheeded, civil society must mobilize ordinary people to turn up the pressure,” he said. “And where politicians deny the magnitude of the challenge that we face, men and women must use their power at the ballot box to replace them.”
Bainimarama called for a “grand coalition of governments, civil society and the private sector to defend and uphold the Paris Agreement.”
The leader of the small Pacific Island nation, which in February 2016 was hit by the most severe tropical cyclone ever to reach its shores, also warned there was “no longer room and certainly no longer time to question the science” of climate change.
The best scientific advice makes it clear that climate change is “frighteningly real,” he said, noting that the many of the world’s coral reefs “may be too far gone to be saved” and agricultural yields were also being affected.
The Fijian leader also spoke firsthand of the impact of extreme weather, noting that Tropical Cyclone Winston “had wiped out one third of our GDP,” even though it spared the main tourist areas on which the country’s economy depends.
Key tasks for this year in the U.N. process include advancing the underpinning rules of the Paris Agreement and laying the groundwork for countries to make more ambitious commitments through a review process that will start in 2018, Bainimarama said.
He said citizens of Fiji were “shouldering our share of the burden of finding new homes for those who are displaced by climate change.”
“We have offered to give permanent refuge to two of our nearest neighbors, Kiribati and Tuvalu, in the event that they are submerged altogether,” he said of the small Pacific island nations.
To contact the reporter on this story: Murray Griffin in Melbourne at firstname.lastname@example.org
To contact the editor responsible for this story: Greg Henderson at email@example.com
Bainimarama's speech is available at http://src.bna.com/oq2.
Copyright © 2017 The Bureau of National Affairs, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
All Bloomberg BNA treatises are available on standing order, which ensures you will always receive the most current edition of the book or supplement of the title you have ordered from Bloomberg BNA’s book division. As soon as a new supplement or edition is published (usually annually) for a title you’ve previously purchased and requested to be placed on standing order, we’ll ship it to you to review for 30 days without any obligation. During this period, you can either (a) honor the invoice and receive a 5% discount (in addition to any other discounts you may qualify for) off the then-current price of the update, plus shipping and handling or (b) return the book(s), in which case, your invoice will be cancelled upon receipt of the book(s). Call us for a prepaid UPS label for your return. It’s as simple and easy as that. Most importantly, standing orders mean you will never have to worry about the timeliness of the information you’re relying on. And, you may discontinue standing orders at any time by contacting us at 1.800.960.1220 or by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Put me on standing order at a 5% discount off list price of all future updates, in addition to any other discounts I may quality for. (Returnable within 30 days.)
Notify me when updates are available (No standing order will be created).
This Bloomberg BNA report is available on standing order, which ensures you will all receive the latest edition. This report is updated annually and we will send you the latest edition once it has been published. By signing up for standing order you will never have to worry about the timeliness of the information you need. And, you may discontinue standing orders at any time by contacting us at 1.800.372.1033, option 5, or by sending us an email to email@example.com.
Put me on standing order
Notify me when new releases are available (no standing order will be created)