Climate crisis does not play politics: Fiji President


Fijian President Ratu Wiliame Katonivere says some Parliamentarians are blinded by political ambition to accept the threat climate change poses on communities around Fiji.

Ratu Wiliame while opening a new Parliament session Monday said that he is worried that some have lost sight of what is happening at the grassroots level due to climate change.

He said people will need to see what this crisis is costing Fiji as rising seas, erratic weather patterns, and dying reefs do not play politics.

“I worry that some of us do not appreciate the threat this crisis poses or the vehemence of the Opposition Fiji faces on the world stage,” he said.

“I worry that some are blinded by political ambition and machinations while others have lost sight of what is happening at the grassroots due to climate change.

“I fear they are blind to the forces of industry and to some of the high emitting nations who willfully ignore the Fijians and countless others suffering on the front line.”

“I urge these doubters to look objectively at what the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and the Paris Agreement entail and how these negotiations function.”

“Any sensible mind will see exactly why we must amplify Pacific voices within it but if you won’t look there, look around you,” he said.

He said before politicians choose to attack climate leaders and politicise an issue of such importance, they needed to pause and think of the suffering it has caused in Fiji.

“I assure you that cyclones, rising seas, erratic weather patterns, and dying reefs here in Fiji do not play politics,” he said.

“Politicians need to think the climate devastation has cost our children, grandchildren, and all those Fijians yet to be born. Their future is worth fighting for.

“You cannot claim to stand with those future generations or our people on the front line of the climate catastrophe if you do not stand behind Fiji’s climate leadership,” he said.

He said the real work of combatting climate change does not only happen in conference rooms and on written paper it also happens at home and this is where Government is leading from.