Climate change warming Fiji, China relations

Fiji's fight against climate change is enhancing China's leadership in the Pacific, according to an analyst.

China's regional position was strengthened by US president Donald Trump's proclamation that climate change was a hoax and the subsequent withdrawal of American support for the Paris Agreement, the international accord to restrict global warming.

A policy analyst for the Fiji government, Joseph Veramu, said Fiji was on a mission to get industrialised economies to reduce emissions to which China seemed committed.

"Fiji was the only Pacific nation invited to the Belt and Road, the global leadership meeting, that was held in Beijing in May," said Mr Veramu.

"I understand that (Fiji PM) Frank Bainimarama met separately with the Chinese Premier and also with the Chinese President Xi Xinping," he said.

"They discussed climate change and the Paris Agreement and the need to bring down global carbon emissions because effects are being felt in many Pacific countries."

Mr Veramu said during this month's Climate Action Pacific Partnership event held in Suva, Pacific leaders spoke passionately about environmental sustainability and the priority to reduce emissions.

He said Mr Bainimarama was actively seeking support from global leaders to ensure its presidency of this year's UN climate change conference would be successful.

Fiji will be the first small island state to preside over the UN's Conference of Parties (COP23) in Germany this November.



Photo: supplied Xi Jinping and Frank Bainimarama