Page 9 - Respond 2018 Magazine
P. 9


          In the climate action zone - the Bonn Zone - Fiji and
          Germany are bringing together all those who have a part to
          play in making this grand coalition a great transformation.
          Climate activists, companies at the cutting edge of
          technology, artists and creative people, dancers and
          performers. And we will be stamping this zone with the
          Fijian bula spirit of optimism and inclusiveness that has
          made our islands famous the world over.

          In the formal zone – the Bula Zone – we want the nations
          of the world to embrace what we call the talanoa spirit in
          Fiji and certain other Pacific countries - a dialogue based on
          trust, empathy and the collective good. In our experience, it
          is the best way of getting things done, especially in difficult
          circumstances. Engagement that is respectful, honest,
          cooperative and acknowledges that no-one, no matter how
          powerful, can solve the climate challenge on their own.
          For humanity to survive, flourish and prosper, we have no
          alternative but to cooperate.

          As we all know, the Paris Agreement calls for global warming
          to be kept well under 2C over that of the industrial age and
          as close as possible to 1.5C. A year ago, I stood here before
          being appointed President of COP23 and called for 1.5C to
          be our target. I meant it then and I mean it now. There is an   Frank Bainimarama, prime minister. Photo credit: government of Fiji
          urgent need to fix this number as our objective.
                                                                        There is an urgent
          I certainly carry with me the authority of the Pacific to
          pursue this objective. And at this point, I want to pay
          tribute to a Pacific islander who we have just lost but
          whose legacy will live on in these negotiations. Tony De     need to fix 1.5C as
          Brum of the Marshall Islands took a very powerful slogan
          to Paris two years ago: “One point five to stay alive”. We
          intend to honour Tony’s legacy. And I intend to draw upon                 our objective
          his spirit during my presidency.

          As well as ensuring decisive action to limit global
          warming, we must also do a lot more to make nations and   I am in no doubt that the role that I have embraced as
          communities more resilient to the effects of climate change.   COP23 President is the most important any Fijian leader
          We know we are all going to have to adapt. But we must   has undertaken. I appeal to my fellow Pacific leaders to
          make special provision for those who are most vulnerable   support me as we tackle the greatest challenge to our own
          and have the least resources to cope with the catastrophic   region and the greatest challenge to the world. I want to
          consequences we are witnessing all around us.        acknowledge the work of the Alliance of Small Island States
                                                               these past 30 years, which has consistently looked after the
          We are pleased to be part of a serious engagement with   interests of our people. And has reminded the world that
          governments and the private sector to secure innovative   our interests are the interests of every global citizen.
          and more affordable access to insurance to enable those
          affected by disaster to recover more quickly. It is a question   We are all in the same canoe. Which is why we will have a
          of fairness and economic development. Because without   Fijian ocean going canoe – a drua – in the main hall in Bonn
          insurance, restoration and rebuilding is simply too great a   to remind everyone of the need to fill its sail with a collective
          burden for many nations and communities.             determination to move this process forward. To deliver on
                                                               the promise we made to each other in Paris.
          We are also encouraged by the rapid development of clean,
          affordable alternative energy solutions for countries across   This is an abridged version of a speech delivered by Fiji prime
          the world. This offers great promise that we can achieve this   minister and COP23 president Frank Bainimarama to the UN
          1.5C target and prosper.                             general assembly, New York, on 21 September.

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