Fiji becomes first country to ratify Paris climate deal

Tuesday 16th Feb 2016 by the Weather Club

Photo: View of Waya Island, Fiji. Source: Flickr

Fiji has become the first country in the world to formally approve the historic UN climate agreement that was reached in Paris in December last year.

On Friday, Fiji’s parliament voted unanimously in favour of ratifying the deal. Fiji pledged that by 2030, they will generate 100 percent of their electricity from renewable energy, as well as cut overall emissions from its energy sector by 30 percent. Currently, Fiji has a population of around 880,000 people and produces 0.004% of the world’s global emissions. 

Fiji, and other low-lying Pacific islands, are some of the most vulnerable areas to climate change, facing an increased risk of eroding shorelines, flooding and depleted fisheries.

The UN Climate Change Conference in Paris (COP21) in December 2015 concluded in a deal that was agreed by 195 nations, with all the world’s major economies showing full support for the deal. It aims to combat climate change through actions and investment that work towards a low-carbon and sustainable future.

At least 55 countries, representing 55 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions, are needed to ratify the agreement before it can formally take effect. The official signing ceremony takes place at the UN Headquarters in New York City on 22nd April, coinciding with International Mother Earth Day.