Climate Change

Taking the message to Tonga

Staff from the University of Otago and Otago Museum have been visiting schools in Tonga during a 10-day visit, based on the museum's popular "Far From Frozen'' travelling exhibition, museum visitor experience and science engagement director Craig Grant said yesterday.

The trip was "going great'' and school pupils had been "very receptive'', also enjoying some of the technology - such as virtual reality headsets - offered with the exhibition.

Call for bold move by Australia to improve Pacific relationship

But observers said no substantial change is expected for Australia's engagement in the region after the Coalition's surprise win at the weekend.

Shane McLeod of the Australian think-tank, the Lowy Institute, said Australia's so-called Pacific step up, a suite of policies and funding initiatives brought in in 2017, will likely continue.

But he said with losses on the hard right, there may be more room for the government to manoeuvre on climate change.

Pacific leaders call for urgent global action to reverse climate change

Following a high-level political dialogue with the UN Secretary General, Antonio Guterres in Suva, the leaders issued a statement saying climate change is the ‘single biggest threat to our Blue Pacific region.”

Forum Chair and Nauru President, Baron Waqa read the statement on behalf of the leaders.

The Pacific leaders said all countries must take decisive and transformative action to reduce global emissions and ensure at scale mitigation and adaptation support for those countries that need it.

UN head to mobilise world around Pacific climate needs

Antonio Guterres attended a community roundtable event in Auckland Monday, as he kicked off his Pacific tour.

He departs for Fiji on Tuesday before heading to Tuvalu and Vanuatu to complete his regional tour.

Mr Guterres said the Pacific islands were the first victims of climate change.

"Not only some of them because of the rising level of water represents an existential threat, some might disappear, but also because of course climate change brings with it a lot of negative consequences," he said.

Tonga Met holds forum to improve climate information

Users of weather information are attending a first User's Climate Outlook Forum, over two days, 27-28 March, hosted by Tonga Met at the National Reserve Bank Building, Nuku’alofa.

The Forum was officially opened by the Minister for MEIDECC, Hon Poasi Tei who highlighted the importance of the meeting.

Sir David Attenborough: Climate change 'our greatest threat'

The broadcaster said it could lead to the collapse of civilisations and the extinction of "much of the natural world".

He was speaking at the opening ceremony of United Nations-sponsored climate talks in Katowice, Poland.

The meeting is the most critical on climate change since the 2015 Paris agreement.

Sir David said: "Right now, we are facing a man-made disaster of global scale. Our greatest threat in thousands of years. Climate change.

Threat to Pacific from climate change more severe - US report

The 4th US National Climate Assessment, released at the weekend, is the federally sanctioned work of about 300 academics and experts on the threat posed by climate change.

The assessment devotes a chapter to the US Pacific.

Zena Grecni, is the Project Specialist for the Pacific Islands Regional Climate Assessment based at Honolulu's East-West Center.

She said in the four years since the last report, threats from climate change had increased substantially.

Pacific leaders call out Indonesia at UN over West Papua

Vanuatu's prime minister Charlot Salwai, a longtime supporter of West Papuan self-determination, told the General Assembly in New York that decolonisation must remain on the UN agenda.

He said the Human Rights Council must investigate human rights abuses in the Indonesian provinces.

The Marshall Islands president, Hilda Heine, told the assembly's 73rd session that the Pacific Islands Forum supported "constructive engagement" with Indonesia on the issue.

While Tuvalu's prime minister Enele Sopoaga continued his call for recognition of the indigenous people.

Tonga warns of dire security threats from climate change on island atoll countries

“In contributing towards the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its landmark Goals (SDGs), including the internationally agreed blueprint for the sustainable development of small island developing States (SIDS), the SAMOA Pathway, Tonga has made both accords an integral part of its national planning processes,” he said on Wednesday.

He emphasised the importance of the UN High-Level Political Forum (HLPF) on Sustainable Development, which he pointed out will review the SAMOA Pathway in 2019.

PM announces increase in climate change funding for Pacific

Ms Ardern is pledging $300 million in climate-related assistance over four years, an increase of $100 million.

The prime minister made the announcement in New York where she is attending for the United Nations General Assembly this week along with about 140 other world leaders.

Action on climate change is high on her agenda.

In a speech to the Climate Week conference she said climate change posed a security threat to vulnerable nations including New Zealand's Pacific neighbours.

Ms Ardern said it challenged international legal frameworks.