On Wednesday the attorney general of Fiji Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum announced a bill with drastic plans to address the country’s contributions to climate change, including the goal to completely reduce its carbon emissions to net zero by the year 2050.
The legislation that Fiji has introduced outlines many ways that the country will lessen its contributions to climate change and become more environmentally sustainable. This includes plans to lessen reliance on plastics, systems for responding to communities that may face displacement due to adverse effects of climate change, and an outline for how the country can utilize a carbon credits program.
An impassioned Sayed-Khaiyum has stated, “Here in the vast Pacific sits our beloved Fiji. Small and increasingly vulnerable as we scan the horizon anxiously year by year for the kind of extreme weather event that three years ago, took the lives of 44 of our loved ones and inflicted damage equal to one-third of our GDP. That is the grave situation in which we find ourselves through no fault of our own and why this government puts such a strong emphasis on the climate issue.”
Fiji’s advancement of its climate action plan partially grew from the country’s dissatisfaction with the global response to climate change. Fiji has joined a group of other Pacific Islands nations declaring climate change a global crisis. They produced a declaration that highlighted the consequences of inaction and called for governments to commit to addressing climate change quickly and meaningfully, as Fiji has done with their most recent legislation.
Sayed-Khayiyum also offered these words, “There is no room for cynicism, no room for complacency.”
Other recent hopeful news in climate action includes predictions that China will reach its carbon emission goals years earlier than anticipated.
How do you combat cynicism and complacency in your own activism and community engagement? How have other countries developed legislation that outlines plans to become carbon neutral?