Fiji spending soars to battle climate risks


Fiji has warned Friday that it faces deadly costs to guard itself against unfavorable climate change and is urging world leaders to put in more efforts in curbing carbon emissions to protect small and poor island countries from the growing risks of cyclones and floods.

“The South Pacific country announced it is spending about 10% of its GDP to prepare for catastrophic events, which is more than four times the level of five years ago,” according to a report with the World Bank.

The report which assessed the country’s weakness to unfavorable climate threats was released to match with Fiji leading the COP23 international climate summit in Bonn.

“As the President of the COP23 and for the benefits of the small island countries – Fiji is urging the world to take action so that unfavorable climate doesn’t hinder our development,” Fiji PM Voreque Bainimarama said in the report.

Fiji set to spend over 360 million

Fiji has budgeted more than 350 million Fiji dollars (127.85 pounds) this year for migrating towns, constructing good bridges and roads and on reacting to cataclysmic events, expected to become a severe and frequent occurrence because of climate change.

This is a little more than 50 million Fiji dollars, a little more than 2% of GDP, in 2013, the report stated.

“With the increasing risks of climate change to the general population and economy of Fiji, finding the ability to react will turn out to be more difficult,” it said.

The dangers include rising sea levels, increased floods and landslides, destruction of farmlands and equipment, and increased ailments, for example, Dengue fever, typhoid, and leptospirosis.

The impacts of climate change have already cost the country around 5% of its GDP annually, with the most massive effect on the farm sector.

Fiji is still recovering from the Tropical Cyclone Winston it experienced in March last year, the most powerful storm in the southern hemisphere. The storm claimed the lives of more than 40 people and cost two billion Fiji dollars.