Climate Change

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.

In Samoa we are born into land, climate change threatens to take it away from us

My daughter was born between cyclones.

It was January 2013, and as we drove to the hospital, we passed the wreckage left by Cyclone Evan which had devastated my home island weeks earlier. Evan had been the worst tropical cyclone to hit Samoa in over two decades. There were huge holes in the road. Debris where homes once stood.

That night another cyclone – Cyclone Gary – was expected to make landfall. Massive clouds hung heavy in the sky, growing darker by the minute.

Samoa's PM highlights climate threat to oceans at UN

Fiame Naomi Mata'afa told the 76th UN General Assembly in New York that there was no greater challenge facing the global community than climate change - including its effects on ocean health.

Fiame said protecting the marine environment was a priority for Pacific nations, whose leaders invariably highlighted the climate crisis in their UNGA speeches.

"The ocean surrounds, protects and provides for us ocean states. It is core to our Pacific way of life, tied explicitly to our need for climate actions in our custodianship of the world's oceans," Fiame said.

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.

Samoa PM issues climate warning ahead of crunch UN talks

Fiame Naomi Mata'afa, who took office as Samoa's first female prime minister in late July, gave a stark assessment of the Pacific's prospects if efforts to tackle global warming continue to stall.

Mata'afa said rising seas were already swamping the region's tiny atoll states -- which include nations such as Tokelau, Tuvalu and Kiribati.

“With them, it's a real and present circumstance -- the water is gaining ground on them,” she said Monday, adding that violent cyclones were becoming more common across the South Pacific.

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.

EU unveils sweeping climate change plan

A dozen draft proposals, which still need to be approved by the bloc's 27 member states and the EU parliament, were announced on Wednesday.

They include plans to tax jet fuel and effectively ban the sale of petrol and diesel powered cars within 20 years.

The proposals, however, are likely to face months of negotiations.

The plans triggered serious infighting at the European Commission, the bloc's administrative arm, as the final tweaks were being made, sources told the AFP news agency.

Japan's heat will impair Olympic athletes' performance, says report

In the report, titled Rings of Fire, it is argued that summer heatwaves in Tokyo during the past three years indicate that conditions will be tough.

Concerns over heat have caused the marathon to be moved from Tokyo.

Professor Mike Tipton said he expects Tokyo to be the most "thermally stressful Olympics" of recent times.

The University of Portsmouth professor helped to produce the report, which was backed by athletes, the British Association for Sustainability in Sport (Basis) and scientists from the Priestley International Centre for Climate at Leeds University.

Climate change destroying world's oldest animal painting

This includes a picture of a wild pig drawn 45,500 years ago on the island of Sulawesi - said to be the world's oldest animal cave painting.

Other cave motifs in the region depicting hunting scenes and supernatural beings have also crumbled faster as temperatures increase.

The findings signal that more needs to be done to preserve the priceless art.

"[These pieces of art are] disappearing before our eyes," study lead Dr Jillian Huntley, from the Griffith Centre for Social and Cultural Research, said in a statement.