22 Sep 2017

Bainimarama calls for new emissions target at the UN

3:39 pm on 22 September 2017

Fiji's prime minister has renewed his call for a more ambitious target to reduce global carbon emissions at the UN General Assembly in New York.

Frank Bainimarama contributing to the general debate of the 72nd Session of the UN General Assembly.

Frank Bainimarama contributing to the general debate of the 72nd Session of the UN General Assembly. September 2017 Photo: UN

In his address Frank Bainimarama urged world leaders to strive for more than just the two degrees target set in Paris in 2015.

In November, Mr Bainimarama will take up the presidency COP23 UN climate change conference in Germany.

He told leaders at the General Assembly they should commit to making sure global temperatures do not go higher than 1.5 degrees celsius above pre-industrial levels.

"It may be tempting for political leaders to show that they are protecting some national industry or near term economic goal," he said.

"But at what cost? If we view this as some sort of negotiation in which each country tries to preserve its narrow national interests we will all lose. We will be powerless to protect our own people from the consequences of climate change."

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