Sound legislative frameworks required for effective climate action: UN chief

SUVA, May 16 (Xinhua) — The United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres stressed on Thursday the need of sound legislative frameworks and legislative bodies to ensure effective climate action.

“To ensure effective climate action, we require sound legislative frameworks, as well as legislative bodies that can support and push government policies and actions everywhere,” Guterres told Fiji’s parliament.

He praised Fiji for playing an important role in the fight against climate change, saying that Fijians have been at the forefront of international action and advocacy on climate and the sea.

The UN chief said that the island nation is setting an example for the world as Fiji was the first small island state to hold the presidency of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.

“Under your presidency, you shared with the world the Pacific concept of talanoa, the process of inclusive, participatory and transparent dialogue that takes in the private sector, civil society, academia, media and others,” Guterres said.

In October 2017, Guterres said that Fiji became the first emerging market to issue a sovereign green bond. This was in addition to an Environment and Climate Adaptation Levy which launched a rural electrification program to reduce emissions from diesel generators.

Fiji has officially launched an important new initiative to develop finance and insurance products for vulnerable and low-income households in Fiji and other Pacific island countries, he said, adding that Fiji has also shown leadership in addressing issues of human mobility and climate change, with respect for human rights.

The UN chief also held a bilateral meeting on Thursday with Fijian Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama.

Guterres, who arrived here on Tuesday night, will leave Fiji on Friday for Tuvalu and Vanuatu to complete his first ever trip to the Pacific region as the UN chief.

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