Climate Change

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.

Samoa PM hopeful Australians will vote for climate action

A question on the debate during Australia’s election campaign about climate change was posed to the UN Secretary General, Antonio Guterres at a press conference in Suva this week.

Guterres replied,” “If I have learned something in more than 20 years of political life is that foreigners should not get involved in electoral debates in other countries, so I do not intend to get involved in the national debate of Australia.”

Tuilaepa, who has been vocal about the effects of climate change in the Pacific, gave his own answer.

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.

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.

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.

China says it will help Samoa with climate change

Chinese President Xi Jinping held talks with his Samoan counterpart Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi in Beijing on Tuesday.

Tuilaepa was in the country for the Summer Davos Forum in Northern China.

During talks with Mr Xi, he reiterated Samoa's support for the Belt and Road Initiative.