Fiji’s role at COP26 was necessary: PM Bainimarama


Fijian Prime Minister, Voreqe Bainimarama says he is dumbfounded that Fiji’s role at COP26 has been a source of criticism.

Speaking in parliament Monday Bainimarama stressed that international prestige is not the reason Fiji took on the responsibility to highlight the devastating impact of climate change on small nations.

He said Fiji took on an active and assertive role in the global effort because it was necessary.

“We took on this responsibility because it is in our national interest—and if we do not speak out loudly and clearly for the interests of our nation and our people, who will do that for us?”

“We must continue to pressure large global polluters to reduce their carbon emissions, increase their financial support for climate-vulnerable countries and transfer technology for the solutions we need to build greater resilience and develop our renewable-energy sector.

“I see Fiji’s role in the fight against climate change as a defining commitment, much like our support for international peacekeeping.

“As the world knows us and appreciates us for our contributions to peacekeeping, it will also know and appreciate us for defending this planet and the people and flora and fauna that inhabit it. That is something to be proud of,” Bainimarama said.

Bainimarama said Fiji’s moral authority as one of the 15 most climate-vulnerable countries and unrelenting insistence to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees have been effective.

He said Small Island Developing States are on the front lines of the climate crisis, and our voices were being drowned out.

“Our role has brought us attention. It has brought us financing. It has connected us with international organisations, financial institutions, private sector and philanthropic groups and governments. That will be critical to our well-being.”

The Prime Minister stresses that Fiji will continue to have a strong presence at COP because it is important to pressure large global polluters.