Lonely Planet Writer

Fiji becomes first country to ratify UN climate deal

Fiji has become the first country to approve the UN climate deal agreed in Paris. The island nation’s parliament voted unanimously to ratify the agreement.

Fiji's idyllic landscapes.
Fiji’s idyllic landscapes. Image by Richard Gifford / CC BY 2.0

Fiji pledged to cut the emissions from its energy by 30% by 2030 and it promised to generate 100% of its electricity from renewable energy sources by 2030. Fiji is dependent on receiving climate finance from other nations in order to make good on its promises.

In order for the Paris agreement to take effect, at least 55 countries need to ratify the treaty, but experts are confident that this will happen given there was unanimous support for the treaty in Paris.

US Secretary of State John Kerry, right, talks with United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon during the Caring for Climate Business Forum
US Secretary of State John Kerry, right, talks with United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon during the Caring for Climate Business Forum

The motion in Fiji was suggested by the country’s Attorney General, Aiyaz Sayed Khaiyum, who said that it would have to be passed before a signing ceremony in April due to take place in New York among UN member states.

Given its island status Fiji has long pledged its support for climate change action. It could in future face an increase in  tropical storms and widespread floods which would effectively destroy the country’s economy and tourist industry, if climate change and global warming aren’t resolved in any way.

Fiji’s ratification is the first of what is expected to be a swift wave of ratifications as nations want to have the treaty signed in time for the meeting in New York.