Second Round Of Climate Change Bill Consultation Underway


The Attorney-General and Minister for Economy, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum launched the second round of public consultations on the revised draft of the National Climate Change Bill.

The A-G speaking at the press conference last week highlighted that this effort to develop legislation intended to improve the co-ordination and coherence needed to minimise the impact of such threats on our people and economy was underway well before COVID-19 became a household term.

“The revised draft of the climate change bill, which is now available online, is the result of an effort that has been refocused and reinvigorated by the confluence of threats that now bear down upon us,” the A-G said.

“In this draft, we considered views contained in hundreds of submissions received from the public through social media platforms, formal feedback from international partners, inputs from cross government consultations, and findings from research into international best practice - the result is a draft climate change bill that is unique in its scope and implications.”

“It is the first piece of legislation globally to include provisions that recognise and set out a legal process for considering planned relocation of communities as a legitimate form of climate change adaptation,” the A-G said.

This is also the first piece of legislation drafted by a small island state that integrates provisions to support our ability to achieve our net-zero 2050 target.

“This is alongside a framework to advance adaptation objectives and help ensure climate change impacts do not circumvent our ability to achieve the 2030 sustainable development goals,” the A-G said.

“The bill creates new requirements of the Government to ensure that decisions, investments, budget submissions, proposals, and infrastructure plans account for and clarify strategies to minimise Fiji’s exposure to climate change risks,” he added.

“The provisions of the bill focused on reducing greenhouse gas emissions are tailored to both our ambition and our capacity to achieve that ambition by focusing on improving sector-specific emissions data, setting cumulative national carbon budgets, and increasing incentives for low-carbon transition.”

The A-G stressed that as a vulnerable island nation, we must continue to champion and demonstrate legitimate and evidence-based action drawing on our intimate understanding of the risks we face.