Fiji PM Appoints Governor Of California As Special Envoy To COP23 Meeting

Jerry Brown is a leading advocate for alternative energy in his state

By Tevita Vuibau

SUVA, Fiji (Fiji Times, June 15, 2017) – Governor of California Jerry Brown has been appointed Special Envoy for States and Regions to the UN Climate Change Conference in Bonn by incoming COP 23 president and Fijian Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama.

Mr Bainimarama made the announcement during a press conference in California yesterday.

Mr Brown has been a leading advocate in the fight against climate change, with actions in recent weeks flying in the face of American President Donald Trump's decision to withdraw from the Paris Agreement.

Green technology and reducing greenhouse gas emissions have been hallmarks of Mr Brown's four terms as Governor of California and this month held meetings with Chinese President Xi Jinping and German Environment Minister Barbara Hendricks to discuss climate change.

He was influential in launching the Under2 coalition, a movement of subnational governments that have commitments to reduce their greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions towards net-zero by 2050.

"Now, we all know that Governor Brown was the driving force behind the creation of the Under2 Coalition — and he has continued to lead the way since its inception. So, when I thought about the one leader I needed to help mobilise the states and regions as a critical pillar of our grand coalition, the choice was obvious," Mr Bainimarama said.

"That is why I am particularly pleased to announce that I am today appointing Governor Brown as Special Envoy for States and Regions for the COP 23 presidency.

"In this role, I will lean on Governor Brown to continue the great leadership he has demonstrated time and time again, and to mobilise a strong contingent of like-minded leaders from around the world to show the world that we mean business!"

Mr Bainimarama also announced yesterday that Fiji was the first Small Island Developing Nation to formally endorse the Under2 coalition

He called it the heart of a bigger grand coalition to protect the 2015 Paris Agreement for limiting greenhouse gas emissions.

"I know some of my Pacific Island neighbours are considering joining this coalition, and I intend to reach out to all of my Pacific Island neighbours and other small nations around the world to encourage them to join the Under2 coalition.

"Together, the small nations can show the world that, while our economies and our emissions may be small, we will do our part and we never shy away from the challenges that face us. We will lead and we will inspire others to do the same."

Fiji Times Online.
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