Fiji is First Country to Ratify Paris Accord, as U.S. Pledges to Sign
The parliament of the island nation of Fiji voted unanimously last Friday to ratify the Paris Agreement, making it the first country in the world to formally adopt the global climate deal.
U.S. climate envoy Todd Stern announced Tuesday that the United States will sign the agreement, as well, regardless of the outcome of a Supreme Court stay on implementation of President Barack Obama’s landmark Clean Power Plan.
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In Fiji, Attorney General Aiyaz Sayed Khaiyum “told parliament that it would need to ratify the treaty ahead of a signing ceremony in April in New York, where Fiji’s prime minister, Voreqe Bainimarama, will formally sign the document on behalf of the country,” The Guardian reports. “He said tackling climate change was a major priority for the archipelago, which could face wide-scale flooding, fiercer tropical storms, and depleting fish stocks as a result of the world’s changing climate.”
In its national climate plan, Fiji commits to 100% renewable electricity generation and a 30% cut in energy sector emissions by 2030, conditional on international climate financing.
In Brussels, meanwhile, Stern told reporters it would be difficult for a future Republican president to scrap the Clean Power Plan without incurring what Reuters calls “negative diplomatic implications.” He added that he was confident the CPP would survive the court challenges it faces.
“It is entirely premature, really premature to assume the Clean Power Plan will be struck down,” he said. “But even if it were, come what may, we are sticking to our plan to sign, to join.”