On July 25 2018, the Fiji Commerce and Employers Federation hosted the Global Employers Climate Action Forum in Suva, Fiji. The event drew over 160 participants representing the private sector, governments, and other organizations from across the Pacific region, and focused on the effects of climate change on the private sector, supporting resilient and low-carbon businesses, and the private sector’s role in addressing climate change and meeting national goals for emissions reductions.
The theme of the forum was Resilient Businesses and Communities, and it built on the signing of the Fiji Declaration at COP23, in which businesses agreed to partner with governments and other actors in the implementation of the Paris Agreement and promote the emergence of a new low-carbon economy that combats climate change while creating new jobs and advancing shared economic prosperity. The agenda included panel discussions on scaling up private sector climate finance, opportunities in climate insurance and building resilient businesses, and driving a blue/green economy, followed by breakout sessions using the Talanoa format to chart next steps in each topical area.
Outcomes of the forum were presented at the Climate Action Pacific Partnership (CAPP) meeting on July 26. FCEF President Sandeep Chauhan further commented that forum results will be “presented at the UN Negotiations Conference as our input, and the voice of the private sector will be heard so that the challenges we are facing are heard and considered.” GGGI plans to continue working with FCEF and other partners on further engaging the private sector in climate action in the Pacific through work with the Pacific NDC Hub and other projects.
GGGI played a key role in planning the event and co-sponsored a morning tea break. GGGI Senior Pacific Regional Officer Kristin Deason spoke on the status and progress of the Pacific NDC Hub, and facilitated a break-out workshop on NDC and SDG linkages in the Pacific. GGGI also worked with other partners to ensure that the forum was a green event. All food and beverages were served in reusable containers, the room was set at a reasonable temperature to save energy associated with air conditioning, and all meeting documents were distributed via a meeting app to save paper. In addition, event sponsors participated in a tree planting event prior to the forum to offset carbon emissions associated with travel to the event.
Other partners involved in planning and implementing the event were: The Fiji Disaster Resilience Council, International Labour Organization, COP23 Secretariat, Pacific Islands Development Forum, USAID, Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat, ANZ Bank, Vodafone, Holiday Inn, Fiji Times, Pacific Cooperation Foundation, Fiji Ministry of Industry, Trade, and Tourism, and the Fiji Ministry of Rural and Maritime Development.
Representatives of GGGI, the COP23 Secretariat, FCEF, and the Ministry of Employment, Productivity and Industrial Relations plant a seedling at the tree planting event.