The Employment Minister, Agni Deo Singh, Professor Paresh Narayan of Monash University, and President of the Asia Pacific Applied Economics Association today (Tuesday), September 26, 2023, collaborated on climate accounting.

The discussions today emanated from the Employment Minister’s address at the inaugural of the Fiji Institute of Chartered Accountants – Asia-Pacific Applied Economics Association conference on September 22 2023.

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In his address, the Minister pointed out that climate change requires careful climate accounting. Failure to do so on the part of businesses will hurt investment prospects.

“This will result in high unemployment, lower incomes, lower productivity and greater social woes such as poverty,” added Minister Singh.

Professor Narayan highlighted that the collaboration with the Employment Ministry will focus on data collection that will allow relevant government ministries to understand how climate change impacts businesses and people in geographical locations and devise strategies that address unemployment and associated benefits, such as support packages.

Professor Narayan added that through this collaboration, a framework will be provided for businesses to better account for the costs of climate change on business growth (employment prospects).

“This dataset and report will also allow the Ministry to feed this information and data in its work in setting the minimum wage rate, helpful in updating Fiji’s Strategic Development Plan, Trade Policy Frameworks and Fiji Bureau of Statistics future Employment and Unemployment Surveys.

This project offers the Ministry of Employment, Productivity and Industrial Relations an opportunity to take a leadership role in climate change, mainly how it affects industries and people from job creation, productivity and fair wages.

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The Ministry and Professor Narayan will be working towards formalising a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to further execute this collaboration in early 2024.

Minister Singh expressed his sincere appreciation to Professor Narayan and his team for the excellent work they’re doing for Fiji, especially now with the involvement of the Ministry in taking the lead role in this new project development on climate accounting in mitigating climate change.