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Cyclone Winston a rallying cry for countries to ratify Paris deal

Cyclone Winston

Aftermath of Cyclone Winston. Courtesy of: Fijian Government, 2016

As Fiji reels from the strongest storm ever recorded in the Southern Hemisphere, leaders from across the globe are faced with yet another rallying cry on the urgency of taking climate action.

Coming just two months before the UN’s signing ceremony of the Paris Agreement, and just days after Fiji became the first in the world to formally adopt the agreement, the category five Cyclone Winston brought winds of over 320km/h and waves of up to 12 metres, and left almost 30 dead, with 8,500 more still sheltering in evacuation centres as the island nation faces a month-long state of emergency.

55 countries – representing 55 per cent of global emissions – need to ratify the Paris agreement for it formally take effect and this latest tragedy is a stark reminder of why leaders must follow in the Fiji’s footsteps, urgently adopt the deal and turn their national pledges into definitive actions.

Key Points

  • Vulnerable countries are leading the Paris charge; but this global problem needs everyone onboard. Comprising a long-term goal to bring emissions down to zero, the Paris Agreement is a clear acknowledgement by all nations of the huge and growing threat of climate change. The sooner governments follow Fiji and ratify the Paris deal, the sooner they will move from pledges into “implementation and action,” and embark upon their collective abandonment of fossil fuels in favour of a 100 per cent renewable future.

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