Last Friday, the island nation of Fiji became the first to ratify the UN climate deal reached in Paris last December. Climate change is an issue of major concern in Fiji and other pacific island nations, which are already seeing the effects of rising sea levels flooding what little land they have. Fiji’s prime minister, Voreqe Bainimarama, told the nation’s parliament it was important to act now to protect the archipelago from floods, increasingly destructive tropical storms, and the loss of fish stocks as the surrounding seas warm.
As part of the agreement, Fiji has committed to a national climate action plan meant to drastically reduce the nation’s carbon emissions. The country has pledged to generate 100% of its electricity from renewable sources by 2030, and cut its emissions by 30% in the meantime. However, in order to reach its lofty goals, it will have to receive some financial assistance from more developed nations — if it’s unable to receive the aid it needs, the country will still commit to a 10% cut of emissions.
While 195 nations agreed to the historic deal, it needs to be formally ratified by at least 55 countries to take effect. The document itself isn’t due to be signed until April, when world leaders will meet in New York to express their countries’ support. All of the world’s major economies have already approved the agreement, so it’s expected that more nations will soon follow Fiji’s suit.
Via The Guardian