Spotlight on climate Bill – Government needs to show real commitment, says Tabuya

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SODELPA Opposition MP Lynda Tabuya speaking in Parliament. Picture: PARLIAMENT OF FIJI

The Climate Change Bill 2021 is just another tick in the box for the Honourable Prime Minister to look for climate finance at the COP26 Glasgow to fund their elections campaign, says SODELPA Opposition MP Lynda Tabuya told Parliament yesterday.

During a debate on the Bill, she said while Government was advocating climate change around the world, we have a failed multi-million dollar Nabou Green Energy sitting along the highway.

“Let’s call spade a spade,” she said.

“This Bill is just lip service and we will see more failed services like Nabou, a ghost town of unfulfilled promises by this Government in the name of climate change.

“Government needs to show real commitment rather than bringing this law to tick the box in time for COP26 to get climate finance to fund their elections campaign.”

She said Government should stop playing victim to climate change and come up with mitigation strategies.

“How exactly does this Bill binds Fijians a shared future, we need binding mechanisms that communicates the will of the Fijian people that goes beyond paper, beyond this Bill.

“The Bill declares climate emergency but the actions in the law doesn’t show real emergency.

“Government talks about profit sharing, where is that in the Bill, the fact that we have an economy that isn’t going green is the emergency.”

She said every Fijians leave universities with qualifications in marine biology, science, forestry and green engineer only to find themselves competing for jobs in a very narrow constricted market.

“We need to build the future we want to see in the Pacific, here in Fiji, invest in our graduates and deliver a realistic platform.”

In his right of reply, Attorney-General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum said there was nothing to be embarrassed about wanting the money.

“And Mr Speaker they say, we only doing this to get money,” he said.

“Yes we want the money but we not doing for the money, of course we want the money, are we stupid for us to say we don’t want the money?

“If the sea levels are rising, if villages have to be moved to higher grounds, 40 communities, you need money in particular from people who caused it to happen in the first place, what is wrong with that, there is nothing to be ashamed about.”