Climate Change

Human rights expert calls for more female leadership on climate

Only a handful of female leaders including New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern are on the United Nations' climate panel.

The others include German chancellor Angela Merkel, Barbados' president Mia Mottley, Iceland's prime minister Katrin Jakobsdottir, Estonian prime minister Kaja Kallas and the head of UN Climate Change Patricia Espinosa.

Many governments claim that 45 percent of their COP26 teams are women.

What's the difference between 1.5C and 2C of global warming?

The 2015 Paris Agreement commits countries to limit the global average temperature rise to well below 2C above pre-industrial levels, and to aim for 1.5C.

Scientists have said crossing the 1.5C threshold risks unleashing far more severe climate change effects on people, wildlife and ecosystems.

Preventing it requires almost halving global CO2 emissions by 2030 from 2010 levels and cutting them to net-zero by 2050 - an ambitious task that scientists, financiers, negotiators and activists at COP26 are debating how to achieve and pay for.

COP26: Pacific, EU launch landmark alliance

The EU's Ambassador to the Pacific, Sujiro Seam, who's at the UN Climate Conference, said all stakeholders lobbied for an ambitious outcome and accessibility to climate funding.

Mr Seam said the EU will need to show the Pacific how best it can support the implementation of the recently adopted Climate Change Act.

"This is a package of available financing of 197 million Euros, almost 500 million Fijian dollars for the Years 2021 to 2027. This will be implemented in the countries of the Pacific with a very strong focus on climate change."

Pacific plea to the world: Act now to reduce global warming

A call for action is underway by the secretariat at the UN Climate Conference (COP26) in Glasgow.

The Director of SPREP's Climate Resilence Program, Tagaloa Cooper, said the recent Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report has highlighted the urgency with which the world needs to act.

Cooper, who's in Glasgow for the UN summit, said it's critical the Pacific voice is heard at COP26 and "our ambitions to limit emissions are realised as the people of the Pacific's very existence depends on it."

Biden, Bolsonaro and Xi among leaders agreeing deal to end deforestation

World leaders have agreed a deal that aims to halt and reverse global deforestation over the next decade as part of a multibillion-dollar package to tackle human-caused greenhouse gas emissions.

Xi Jinping, Jair Bolsonaro and Joe Biden are among the leaders who will commit to the declaration at Cop26 in Glasgow on Tuesday to protect vast areas, ranging from the eastern Siberian taiga to the Congo basin, home to the world’s second largest rainforest.

Act now for our children, Queen urges climate summit

In a video message, she said many people hoped the "time for words has now moved to the time for action".

She urged them to act "for our children and our children's children" and "rise above the politics of the moment".

The Queen added she took "great pride" in how her "dear late husband" Prince Philip promoted environmental issues.

The 95-year-old monarch had been scheduled to attend the United Nations conference in Glasgow. But she pre-recorded her address last week at Windsor Castle after being advised to rest following medical checks.

Eua Island: The Tongan island tackling climate change

But all is not peaceful on the tiny island, which is part of the archipelago of 172 coral and volcanic islands which make up Tonga.

Not only is it crippled by unemployment, but the vital resources and ecosystems which Eua depends on are under increasing pressure due to climate change.

However, the simple act of carving wood may be an answer to the problem.

Handmade canoes

Locals on the island are learning to carve out canoes and the benefits are manifold.

World now sees twice as many days over 50C

They also now happen in more areas of the world than before, presenting unprecedented challenges to human health and to how we live.

The total number of days above 50C has increased in each decade since 1980. On average, between 1980 and 2009, temperatures passed 50C about 14 days a year.

The number rose to 26 days a year between 2010 and 2019.

In the same period, temperatures of 45C and above occurred on average an extra two weeks a year.

Pacific agriculture and forestry leaders eye progress post COVID-19

The Government of Fiji hosted the Seventh Regional Meeting of the Pacific Heads of Agriculture and Forestry Services (PHOAFS), held virtually from 25 – 27 August with partners the Pacific Community (SPC), Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO) and the Fiji Ministries of Agriculture and Forestry.  

Thunberg calls out climate impact of fashion brands in Vogue interview

Ms Thunberg told Vogue Scandinavia that fashion brands needed to take responsibility for the environmental impact of their products.

In a tweet, she accused some companies of "greenwash" ad campaigns designed to make their clothes appear sustainable.

Vogue Scandinavia featured Ms Thunberg, 18, on the cover of its first issue.

In the interview, Mr Thunberg said she last bought a new item of clothing three years ago and "it was second-hand".

"I just borrow things from people I know," Ms Thunberg said.