26/09/18

Fiji and Marshall Islands Announce Concrete Plans for Enhanced Climate Ambition at the One Planet Summit

“It’s a race against time. If we can do it, so can others.”

L-R: Dr. Hilda C. Heine, President of the Republic of the Marshall Islands and Chair of the Climate Vulnerable Forum (CVF) and Frank Bainimarama, Prime Minister of the Republic of Fiji and COP23 President

On the sidelines of the One Planet Summit in New York, Dr. Hilda C. Heine, President of the Republic of the Marshall Islands and Chair of the Climate Vulnerable Forum (CVF) and Frank Bainimarama, Prime Minister of the Republic of Fiji and COP23 President, set the bar as the first countries to show the world concrete steps on the path of raising the ambition of Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs). And they called on the global community to follow their lead.

Prime Minister Bainimarama announced Fiji’s commitment to enhance its NDC by next year and President Heine highlighted the Marshall Islands’ new 2050 Strategy, which provides a hook to enhance its own NDC.

Speaking at the event, the Prime Minister explained why Fiji, which has contributed so little to the warming that now threatens the planet, is committing to enhancing its own NDC. “Because we are determined to do what we are asking others to do and to lead by example.”

“While there is certainly pride attached in being amongst the first, in the end, this isn’t a race against each other, it’s a race against time. And time is running out. Only when many others, including much larger emitters, join us in committing to strengthened targets will we tip the scales back in the planet’s favour and put the world back on track to achieving the temperature goals set by the Paris Agreement.”

“It’s decision time. Collectively, it’s time to decide what kind of future we want. The current commitments we have all made under the Paris Agreement have put us in the race, but we’re currently running far too slowly to have any chance of winning – if we define winning as preserving the quality of life on earth as we know it. We will win or lose this race together,” the Prime Minister said.

[Read the Prime Minister’s full remarks]. 

[Read the President’s full remarks].

The Prime Minister acknowledged the work being done by some other countries in this direction and said that he looked forward to hearing similar announcements soon, including during the political phase of the Talanoa Dialogue at COP24.

The Prime Minister explained that Fiji’s new NDC would be informed by the work currently being undertaking to finalise the country’s long-term decarbonisation strategy for net-zero emissions by 2050, which will be launched at COP24 this December.

Fiji’s new NDC will no longer cover just the energy sector, but potentially other critical sectors such as land transport, maritime transport, domestic aviation, waste, agriculture and forestry.

As part of this comprehensive, whole-of-economy approach, we have identified the potential evolution of these sectors in business-as-usual, high-ambition, and very-high-ambition scenarios. This has included identifying feasible low-carbon development options that have the potential to reduce carbon emissions, enhance carbon sinks and build resilience.

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