Climate Change

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.

UN chief praises Vanuatu government’s efforts to combat climate change

In a statement, the UN chief said climate change is now an existential threat to the Pacific countries. He called on all decision-makers around the world to show ‘enlightened self-interest’ because it is not only the Pacific that is at stake, it is the whole planet. He stressed that to save the Pacific is to save the whole planet.

During his visit, Guterres met with Tallis Obed Moses, President of Vanuatu. The two discussed the effects of climate change on the small island State and efforts being made to increase its resilience.

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.

Vanuatu exposes US climate change denial at COP24

The talks in the city of Katowice have centred on a recent critical UN climate report which said urgent action was needed to keep global warming to a maximum of 1.5 degrees Celsius.

The US, Russia, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait blocked full endorsement of the report, only agreeing to note it.

Vanuatu's Foreign Minister Ralph Regenvanu took the stage on Tuesday to single out the countries for not doing enough.

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.

Vanuatu calls for fossil fuel companies to pay for climate change

Speaking at the Virtual Climate Summit on Thursday, Ralph Regenvanu said Vanuatu had benefited the least from fossil fuels, but been ravaged as a result of their emissions.

Mr Regenvanu said he was putting the fossil fuel industry and the states that sponsor it on notice.

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.

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.