Climate crises in the Pacific post-Paris – political-economic realities, public policy implications and the future of the climate politics.
The science is clear, climate change is upon us and nowhere is the impact more serious than in the Pacific.
In February 2016, Victoria University hosted its first climate change conference focused on the effects, challenges and possible solutions for countries in the Pacific.
Speakers from the Pacific region and beyond from a range of fields - science, politics, indigenous rights, media, arts and the environment - came together to discuss the realities of climate change in the Pacific.
- His Excellency Anote Tong, President of the Republic of Kiribati
- Bill McKibben, 350.org founder
- Professor Will Steffen, Australian National University Climate Change Institute director
- Leota Kosi Latu, Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme director general
- Koreti Tiumalu, 350.org Pacific outreach coordinator
- Rod Oram, business journalist and commentator
- Dayle Takitimu, Indigenous rights and environmental lawyer
- Professor James Renwick, Victoria University of Wellington Professor of Physical Geography
- Professor Tim Naish, Victoria University of Wellington Antarctic Research Centre director
Date and venue
15-17 February 2016
Victoria University of Wellington
Maclaurin Lecture Theatre 103
Climate change is the greatest global ecological threat to our generation and future generations. There is a limit to how much ecological change our world can withstand without seriously compromising modern life, and scientists agree we are rapidly approaching that threshold.
The evidence of climate change is all around us - higher seas, extreme weather events, ocean acidification, species decline and loss of habitats. We are experiencing disruption in other areas too, as the adverse climatological effects shape international relations, politics and public policy. Climate change also has the potential to disrupt global economies, social dynamics and human health.
This conference was divided into three broad themes:
- The climate situation
- The political-economy of climate crises
- The future of climate politics
Why focus on the Pacific?
Pacific nations are highly vulnerable to the effects of climate change. Many Pacific nations are low-lying, reliant on natural resources, exposed to the elements, and lack the standard of infrastructure that exists in much of the western world.
This is why we, as a Pacific Island nation, need to gather with our neighbours and find out what challenges we will meet. From here, we can investigate how these challenges will impact on our societies, culture and government and what action is needed.
Pacific Climate Change Conference 2016 is committed to democratic change. Throughout the conference, we engaged with top minds from science, academia, the art world, politics and government. We reached out to Māori and Pasifika leaders, community groups and civic institutions. We united with environmental groups and leading climate change organisations.
By working together, we can create real and meaningful change.
"Runaway growth in the emission of greenhouse gases is swamping all political efforts to deal with the problem, raising the risk of 'severe, pervasive and irreversible impacts' over the coming decades, according to a draft of a major new United Nations report." - New York Times, August 2014
Email email@example.com for more information about the conference.