PM Opens 2013 Climate Change Summit

Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama, at the opening of the 2013 National Climate Change Summit at Narewa village in Nadi today, challenged those present that as a small nation, Fiji plainly cannot influence climate change on its own.

Attended by the vanua, including the Turaga na Tui Nadi Ratu Sailosi Dawai, the church, non – governmental organizations (NGOs), educational institutions, government ministries and departments and villages, the Summit aims to bring in all stakeholders to charter a way forward in the face of climate change.

“We are not an industrialised country with high carbon emissions and can only try to persuade those that are to take decisive action to reduce those emissions,” PM Bainimarama said.

“It is clearly a global problem that requires global solutions but rather than merely wringing our hands and telling the international community that ‘something must be done’, we need to take charge of those areas we can influence.

“And we are. We are playing our part in the global quest for a more sustainable energy future. While at the same time doing a lot more to improve our response to the effects of climate change, and especially the extreme weather conditions.”

With the first Summit being held in Labasa on Vanua Levu, the Prime Minister said the venue of the second summit was fitting.

“Of all the possible venues in Fiji to hold these discussions, Nadi is undoubtedly the most appropriate,” PM Bainimarama said.

“Because Nadi, in recent times, has been one of the area’s most affected by the extreme weather events that the scientists say are becoming more frequent and severe because of climate change.”

He thanked the vanua for accepting to host the event.

“To the Tui Nadi and the people of Narewa, thank you for hosting this event – the second National Climate Change Summit, that brings together stakeholders from around the country.”