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Fiji leads the world in ratifying the Paris climate agreement

Fiji’s parliament has unanimously agreed to ratify the UN climate agreement reached in Paris in December last year.

Fiji is the first country in the world to ratify the historic COP21 climate agreement negotiated in Paris last December. In demonstration of its commitment to tackling climate change, on 12 February Fiji’s parliament voted unanimously in favour of reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

 

fiji flag
The Fijian flag © Phil Walter/Getty Images

 

With this formal agreement the nation seals its leadership role in raising global awareness on the impact of climate change on small island developing states. The motion was presented by the attorney general in view of the ceremony due to take place in April when the 196 nations parties to the Paris deal will sign the Treaty. The event, hosted by the United Nations, will take place at the international organisation’s headquarters in New York.

 

fiji flood
Flooding in Fiji © Wikimedia

 

As confirmed by Fiji’s Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama, climate change is a major concern for the nation. Like all small Pacific islands, it is particularly vulnerable to the threats of increasing global temperatures, including rising sea levels, increased frequency of extreme tropical cyclones and flooding, and depletion of coral reef ecosystems and fish stocks.

 

Among its national commitments to the global climate agreement Fiji has pledged to reach the use of 100% renewable electricity by 2030 and, depending on the funding it will receive from the international community, cut its emission by 10 or 30% by the same year.

 

fiji from above
Bird’s eye view of Fiji © Flickr

 

Observers are confident that by April at least 55 countries, accounting for over half of global greenhouse gas emissions, will have followed Fiji in formally approving the Paris Agreement and allowing it to take full effect. If this happens, its measures will enter into force as of 2020, allowing the goal of keeping the global rise in temperatures below 2°C to remain within reach.

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