Opening of the First Climate Action Pacific Partnership Event
Working in solidarity to address the impact of climate change on Pacific Island nations dominated the Prime Minister’s speech at the opening of the inaugural Climate Action Pacific Partnership (CAPP) event. The event was organised in recognition of the need to support and strengthen the participation of Pacific Small Island Developing Sates (P-SIDS) in the global climate action agenda. Prime Minister Bainimarama reiterated Fiji’s own commitment to work with Pacific Island nations in addressing climate change as well and to ensure that Pacific islanders have a future in the region. “Even if the battle to keep your islands above the water is lost, we will continue to stand shoulder- to-shoulder with you. Fiji has offered to give permanent refuge to the people of Kiribati and Tuvalu, our closest neighbours under threat. And we expect the United States to do the same for the people of the Marshall Islands – who share your plight – because of their long-standing historical ties. In a worst-case scenario, we know that there will be climate refugees throughout the world. But the people of Kiribati and Tuvalu will not be refugees. We Fijians will embrace you and take you into our homes and our hearts. That is our solemn promise to you as Pacific neighbours and friends. And we ask other countries to offer the same hospitality to anyone who is displaced by climate change. Because ultimately, we are one world, one people. And as the new French President said so aptly the other day: there is no plan B other than decisive climate action because there is no planet B.” In praising Fiji’s leadership on the issue of climate change, Pacific leaders called for solidarity to ensure that a unified voice is presented at the COP23 meet in Bonn in November this year. The Federates States of Micronesia president H.E Peter Christian urged leaders “never to underestimate the power of dialogue” when it comes to the impact and threat caused by climate change.