Bainimarama Says Fiji, New York City Both Vulnerable To Climate Change Impacts

Prime Minister in town to attend UN Oceans Conference

By Tevita Vuibau

SUVA, Fiji (Fiji Times, June 5, 2017) – Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama says New Yorkers are bound with Fijians in tackling climate change after the dual natural disasters of New York's Cyclone Sandy in 2012 and Fiji's Severe Tropical Cyclone Winston in 2016.

Mr Bainimarama, who is in New York to attend the UN Oceans Conference, said he valued the great friendship between the US and Fiji and especially the great friendship between Fijians and New Yorkers.

"We have a great deal in common as people who are vulnerable to the effects of climate change not only rising sea levels, but extreme weather events that have cost the lives of our loved ones, along with a great deal of economic pain," he said.

"You had Hurricane Sandy in 2012. We had Cyclone Winston last year. And it has bound us together as a people — Fijians and New Yorkers — in our determination to work with the rest of the world to tackle the threat of climate change."

Mr Bainimarama thanked the mayor and people of New York for standing shoulder to shoulder with Fiji on the issue of climate change.

New York City mayor Bill de Blasio earlier pledged to honour the Paris Climate Agreement despite US President Donald Trump's announcement that the US would pull out of the accord.

"President Trump can turn his back on the world, but the world cannot ignore the very real threat of climate change," he had said. "This decision is an immoral assault on the public health, safety and security of everyone on this planet."

Mr Bainimarama also presented the Champion of Change Award at the World Oceans Festival to Dr Wallace J. Nichols yesterday.

Dr Nichols is a scientist, marine biologist, an explorer and author of the bestselling book Blue Mind; The Surprising Science That Shows How Being Near, In, On, or Underwater Can Make You Happier, Healthier, More Connected and Better at What You Do.

Fiji Times Online.
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