Climate Change

Nauru President warns of possible climate change ‘economic Armageddon’

The President said tuna fishing generates $6 billion annually for the handful of small island developing States known as the Parties to the Nauru Agreement (PNA), a 1982 accord on fisheries management.

“This fishery is projected to disperse and disappear from the waters of the nine-member countries and territories of the PNA in the not too distant future: another victim of the climate crisis,” he told fellow world leaders.

Greta Thunberg: 'Leaders failed us on climate change'

"You have stolen my dreams and my childhood with your empty words," she told a UN climate summit in New York.

About 60 world leaders are taking part in the one-day meeting organised by UN Secretary General António Guterres.

He earlier said countries could only speak at the summit if they came with action plans to cut carbon emissions.

US President Donald Trump, a climate change sceptic, had not been expected at the meeting - but he was briefly spotted in the audience.

Forum brings Pacific Island Nations closer together on climate change

Speaking after his attendance at last week’s Pacific Islands Forum in Tuvalu where climate change was high on the agenda, President Waqa said Nauru was highly vulnerable to the impacts of global warming.

“Climate change is a very important topic for all the Pacific Islands, especially Nauru where we need to future-proof the coast,” President Waqa 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."

Pacific wants dedicated UN climate change rep - Baron Waqa

In an interview published on the website Climate Diplomacy, Mr Waqa says the position would fill a "critical gap" in the UN system.

Baron Waqa said Pacific nations were seeking a more robust response on climate change from the UN.

The special representative on climate and security would update the UN secretary-general's report on the security impacts of climate change.

It would also produce a new report analysing the dangers of climate security and make recommendations for monitoring and response.

Nauru calls for urgent climate action for Pacific at meeting with UN chief

UN chief António Guterres travelled to Fiji, Tuvalu, New Zealand and Vanuatu to discuss the looming threat of climate change, and while in Fiji attended the special meeting at the Forum secretariat, that is aimed at building momentum ahead of the UN Climate Action Summit to be held in New York in September.

At the meeting, President Waqa delivered an address highlighting the rich cultural traditions of the islands, their fight for independence, and importantly their vulnerability to the effects of 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.

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.