It was confirmed November 17th that Fiji will hold the Presidency of the UNFCCC’s COP23. The event will be physically hosted in Bonn, Germany, in November 2017.
Speaking on behalf of the Alliance for Global Water Adaptation (AGWA), the organization’s co-founder John Mathews said to OOSKAnews that “the marriage of Fiji and Germany for leadership in the coming COP is a great metaphor – the pairing of one of the historic sources of greenhouse gases that has become a leader on clean energy, with one of the countries most rapidly and visibly threatened by climate impacts, that has become a leader on how we adjust and adapt to and ultimately transcend those impacts”.
“Fiji and Germany are also nations in good standing in the water community, and we in AGWA hope that both will take the baton from Peru, France and Morocco to raise the importance and centrality of water to climate action worldwide”.
Loic Fauchon, Honorary President of the World Water Council, described the successful candidacy of Fiji as “first and foremost a great symbol. For years we have been talking to the threat to island nations of rising sea levels associated with climate change…we welcome this COP Presidency and all that it represents”.
Also on November 17th Fauchon presented the recommendations of the first Global Climate Action Day for Water to take place at a UNFCCC climate conference, at the “High Level Panel on Accelerating Climate Action” at COP22 in Marrakesh, in proposals for the consideration of the conference’s “Global Action Champions” and national delegations.
The Prime Minister of Fiji, Frank Bainimarama, who is participating in Marrakesh at COP22, this week issued a plea to US President-elect, Donald Trump, to show leadership and reconsider his well-reported skepticism about the reality of climate change.
Bainimarama said he is particularly alarmed by reports the US will consider withdrawing from the Paris Agreement - a move he said would be disastrous for every person on earth, and issued an invitation to Trump to visit Fiji to see first hand the impacts on the island of rising sea levels and extreme weather events.