[95 of 29/10/2015]
Opposition Environment Shadow Minister, Hon Niko Nawaikula today slammed Prime Minister, Voreqe Bainimarama to stop using cheap opportunistic politics and singling out Australia's emissions but instead focus on what he could control such as Fiji's mandated reporting obligation under the UNFCCC, the Intentional Nationally Determined Contribution (INDC).
“Bainimarama is in environmental denial and fools no one by grandstanding to heighten an international climate change profile aided by PR stunts when Fiji has not yet submitted its own INDC that the Fiji Focus edition of 28 June 20151 stated was going to be submitted in September 2015. Even fellow Pacific Islander the Marshall Islands a smaller country to ours has managed to submit their INDC, so what is the problem?” said Nawaikula.
“We missed the opportunity in Bonn last week to table our INDC so that we are a legitimate part of the international climate change conversation. Taking it to Paris is not helpful to other UNFCCC parties who have submitted theirs and will only take the already slow negotiations progress backwards”, said Hon Nawaikula.
Nawaikula added that Fiji was bound by UNFCC COP decisions1/CP.19 and 1/CP.202 where parties were supposed to submit INDCs well in advance of COP 21 (by the first quarter of 2015). “Now we understand that the Attorney General's office will also wade into climate change, and while that is welcome, having three separate Departments like Environment, Foreign Affairs and AG's Chambers all pushing for the same thing will only lead to turf wars within the government machinery when government resources are already thin,” said Nawaikula.
“The truest measure of Fiji's sincerity on climate change is what is happening here on our shores. It is no secret that industrialized countries have high emissions, but unsurprisingly Fiji is not as aggressively vocal towards China, India, the EU and the USA? Current 'Quid Quo Pro' arrangements should not weaken Fiji's unequivocal stand on climate change and our ability to thrive in the face of dire climate change impacts depends on whatever outcome will be agreed to in Paris this December”, stated Nawaikula.
“The real test of Bainimarama's sincerity on climate change before they head to the Paris Climate talks and Fiji's supposed low-carbon pathway and 'green growth' will be evident when his Government tables their 2016 Budget on 06 November to see whether they will invest in truly renewable energy and other environmentally sound approaches in their budget policies”, said Nawaikula.
“Bainimarama continues to laud the Suva Declaration yet the political uptake among our other Pacific colleagues has been pitiful and has only divided unity such as that in our primary negotiation bloc AOSIS”, added Nawaikula.
“The People are not fooled and ideally Parliament and The People should have oversight over Fiji's position at the Paris Climate Change talks as Standing Order 130 dictates but we are not surprised when the Government has selective amnesia on what Standing Order they will abide by”, added Nawaikula.
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