Climate Change

New idea touted to rapidly restore food security post disaster

Johann Bell from NGO Conservation International said when Cyclone Pam tore through Vanuatu in 2015 it took 18 months to restore significant fishing.

That was because its coastal Fish Aggregating Devices (FADs) were destroyed, he said.

The NGO has teamed up with the Vanuatu fishing authority to fill two disaster proof containers with FADs materials so the large scale tuna lures can be restored following a cyclone.

People could be fishing again about three weeks after a disaster, Dr Bell said.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announces $150m Pacific climate funding

Ms Ardern made the announcement in Tuvalu, where she is attending the 18-nation Pacific Islands Forum which starts today.

She said the government was ring-fencing half of its global commitment to climate change-related development, to ensure it went to the Pacific.

The funding will go towards providing infrastructure such as water tanks, better tools for dealing with droughts, floods and coastal inundation, as well as further climate hazard mapping and risk planning.

Australia says its committed to addressing climate change

Last week a number of Pacific nations signed a declaration calling for greater action against what they called a "Climate Crisis" and an end to coal mining.

Palau's President Tommy Remengesau Junior also made a plea for Australia to take further climate action and the environmental NGO Greenpeace said the country should step aside from engaging in the region, if it wasn't going to change its policies around coal and energy.

World Bank to prioritise climate change resilience in Pacific

Its vice president for East Asia and the Pacific, Victoria Kwakwa, was in Tonga last week for talks.

Ms Kwakwa said the World Bank was working closely within Australia's Step Up and New Zealand's Pacific Reset programmes.

"We've been working on several things including supporting countries to strengthen their climate change resilience, working to support policy reforms to build their economic resilience and we're also working together on the connectivity agenda," Ms Kwakwa said.

"As you know, this region is very remote, even compared to other small island states."

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.