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Fiji demonstrates global climate change leadership
8:28 pm GMT+12, 06/12/2018, Poland

Fiji will be launching its Low Emission Development Strategy in Katowice, Poland during the 24th Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change. 
 
Currently underway, the two week conference opened with the handover of the UNFCCC COP Presidency from Fiji to Poland.  Yet as Fiji’s Prime Minister, Josaia Voreqe Bainimarama stated while their Presidency may have come to an end, Fiji is determined to be at the cutting edge of the fight against climate change.
 
“We nevertheless believe that we must lead the world by example.  So my government has approved a Low Emission Development Strategy that will make us the 11th nation to have submitted such a plan to the UN in line with Article 4 of the Paris Agreement,” said Prime Minister Bainimarama in his statement to the High Level Plenary at COP24.
 
“This strategy is ambitious, inclusive and comprehensive, with a broad range of initiatives that promote sustainable growth and long-term de-carbonisation of the Fijian economy. A major area of focus is the energy sector and achieving reductions in carbon emissions in land transport, maritime transport and domestic aviation.”
 
Fiji is one of the first two nations, the other being the Republic of the Marshall Islands, to commit to raising the ambition of their Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC’s) by 2020.  Fiji also aims to reach net zero emissions by mid-century.  NDCs are the national climate plans that outline climate action including targets, policies and measures to be undertaken to contribute to global climate action.
 
“We are appealing to all nations to do the same.”
 
Fiji is also the first Small Islands Developing State to include wetlands in their Low Emissions Development Strategy which will help preserve and restore mangroves in Fiji, which also contribute to the wellbeing of coastal communities.
 
Mangroves presently cover 0.7% of the global land surface. Carbon emissions from mangrove deforestation form up to 10% of global deforestation emissions, while healthy mangroves export 10% of particulate terrestrial carbon to the ocean. 
 
The Pacific islands have 3% of the global mangrove area.
 
“We will need greater ambition, greater investment and greater action from all countries if we are to, as we must, limit average global warming to 1.5 degrees above the pre-industrial age.
 
Fiji will do its part, others must too.”
 
Fiji will launch its Low Emission Development Strategy on 13 December at the Pacific and Koronivia Pavilion during a special event.

SOURCE: SPREP/PACNEWS


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