Dubai, 29 Nov 2023 - The Leader of Opposition, Hon. Inia Seruiratu, issued a compelling call to the Fiji delegation, urging consistency in messaging as they continue climate negotiations at COP28.
Prime Minister, Hon. Sitiveni Rabuka invited Hon. Seruiratu to share his experience at previous COP negotiations at a Team Fiji briefing on the eve of the official high level opening of 28th Conference of States Parties (COP) of the UN Climate Treaty, the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).
Hon. Seruiratu referenced Article 2 of the Paris Agreement, emphasising the necessity for survival and acknowledging the challenges in ensuring temperature rise is limited at the 1.5 degree target.
Hon. Seruiratu also stressed the importance of a coherent and consistent message as Fiji engages with the Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS) and with G77 plus China.
"Consistency in messaging within AOSIS and G77 is paramount. The calls we make today shape our collective future. As Fiji positions itself at the forefront of global climate negotiations, Fiji's dedication to navigating these challenges with resilience, innovation, and a commitment to a sustainable future."
Hon. Seruiratu said the indispensable role of Fiji's technical team, particularly in the crucial domain of Article 5 of the Paris Agreement which related to forestry.
He said the delegation's ability to maintain a consistent stance on this and other pivotal issues is paramount to effectively represent Fiji's interests on the global stage.
With Fiji's carbon trading program under the World Bank coming to an end, Hon. Seruiratu highlighted the pivotal role of the UNFCCC process, offering higher pricing and focusing on adaptation as underscored by the IPCC report.
He urged the Government delegation to communicate these priorities with clarity and conviction to ensure Fiji's voice resonates effectively.
"The urgency of our situation cannot be overstated. Our technical team plays a crucial role. With our carbon trading program under the World Bank coming to an end, the UNFCCC process becomes pivotal, offering higher pricing and focusing on adaptation, a key aspect highlighted by the IPCC report."
He also highlighted that internal displacement and forced migration were also highlighted as critical issues requiring consistent attention and advocacy.
Hon. Seruiratu is part of the Prime Minister's high level delegation and will also attend COP28 side events for the Inter Parliamentary Union (IPU) for which he is the Pacific Climate Change Champion recently elected at the IPU meeting in Angola.
The decision to include the Leader of Opposition in the Fiji Government's delegation to COP28 marks a departure from the practices of the previous administration, which did not prioritise a bipartisan approach.
Prime Minister Rabuka said that involving the Leader of Opposition in discussions on climate change at the global stage aligns with the best interests of all citizens of Fiji.
This move represents a commitment to a unified national front in addressing pressing global challenges and emphasises the importance of collaboration across political lines for the benefit of the entire nation.