With the COP26 global climate summit starting next Sunday, the Fijian Government has maintained strong climate action despite the second wave of COVID-19 and recording negligible emissions level compared to developed and emerging economies.
Fiji is among the six Pacific Island countries that have submitted its Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC) in the 2020/2021 timeframe.
NDCs are national targets set out by countries to cut emissions and to stay within set temperature limits.
The action commitment was birthed from the 2015 Paris Agreement to stay within the safer threshold of 1.5C
With the COP26 global climate summit starting next Sunday, the Fijian Government has maintained strong climate action despite the second wave of COVID-19 and recording negligible emissions level compared to developed and emerging economies,
Out of the 14 Pacific Island countries, Fiji, Tonga, Samoa, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands and Marshall Islands have submitted their NDCs.
During the GIZ Pacific NDC Hub Regional Media Dialogue discussions held this week, journalists from around the region better understood the different ways countries were working towards its commitments.
Regional NDC Hub Project Manager, Christian Goerg said eight other countries are working on its NDC submission with several ongoing activities.
“One of the challenges faced by countries in committing to their NDCs is not having enough information, support and capacity to develop their contributions,” Mr Goerg said.
“Priorities for these Pacific countries are to understand and work towards managing emissions while dealing with the impacts of climate change,” he said.
Mr Goerg highlighted that the enhanced NDCs contain robust mitigation targets, new sectors, and well-defined adaptation targets.
NDCs are submitted every five years to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change secretariat.
Fiji has since introduced a single-use plastic ban from January 1, 2020. This means a total ban on the importation, manufacture, distribution and use of single-use plastic bags. At the beginning of this year, Fiji also imposed a ban on the importation and export of Polystyrene products.
An enactment though the Environment Management Act (2005) entailed a ban on the manufacture, distribution and use of polystyrene effective from August 1, 2021.
These actions by the Fijian Government is a commitment statement under the 2015 Paris Agreement. Each country is to outline and communicate its post 2020 climate action as the Paris Agreement.
The information sharing session also heard about the urgency needed at addressing the climate crisis.
Steering Committee Chair, Tutii Chilton urged that instead of using climate change in reporting, jour nalists should continuously highlight the fact that for Pacific Island countries, it is indeed a ‘climate crisis’.
“Instead of saying climate change because change evokes a slow development. Climate crisis evokes a big danger to our low-lying islands and if we do not address these issues then the ocean is going to rise,” Mr Chilton said.
Earlier in April, the NDC Hub had approved a 2030 strategy plan that represents the collective climate change commitments of all the Pacific Island countries.
“Through the strategy 2030, the Hub will encapsulate the aspirations of the region, present the envision for sustainable low carbon and climate resilient cities,”
“In other words, energy, food security, water security are those climate resilience adaptation perspectives that we need to look at hence the NDCs comes into play,” Mr Chilton said.
To enhance the ambition over time the Paris Agreement provides for successive NDCs that will represent a progression and to reflect its highest possible ambition.
COP26 is a critical summit for global climate action especially as it affects small island developing states. Leaders will have a chance of limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees, global emissions to be reduced in half by 2030 and to reach ‘net-zero’ by 2050.
Only time will tell whether these aspirations and actions materialise.
Source: Fiji Sun