UN Climate Action Summit 2019: A Pacific Youth Talanoa for greater ambition on climate change

Climate change is affecting communities all over the world, with the last four years the hottest ever recorded. The Pacific region is particularly vulnerable - our Pacific neighbours are increasingly threatened by rising sea levels and extreme weather events. Australia has just experienced its hottest summer ever, with much of the country in the grip of a devastating drought.

It's increasingly apparent that there are affordable solutions which can enable us all to leapfrog to cleaner, more adaptive economies, however, despite this, global greenhouse gas emissions continue to rise.

It's in this context that the United Nations has called a Global Climate Action Summit for late September 2019. The aim of the summit is to boost ambition and accelerate actions to address climate change.

The Paris Climate Agreement sets out a framework for what needs to be done to stop climate disruption and reverse its impacts. But the agreement is meaningless without ambitious action.

This event at ANU will include a Talanoa Dialogue* with Pacific youth speakers discussing how climate change is affecting the region and how communities are responding. It will set the scene for the Climate Action Summit by making a strong case for why more ambitious climate action will benefit the Pacific region.

Program

This event will be chaired by Dr Siobhan McDonnell, representing ANU Climate Change Institute and the Crawford School of Public Policy.

  • Welcome - Prof Brian Schmidt, ANU Vice Chancellor
  • Introduction - United Nations representative - TBC
  • Keynote address - H.E. Luke Daunivalu, Fiji High Commissioner
  • Screening of video poem: Rise - From one island to another by Kathy Jetnil-Kijiner and Aka Nivian - TBC

Pacific Youth Talanoa Panel:

  • Mr Ratu Manoa Eperneri Misikana Rokotavaga, Fiji - currently studying Commerce & Pacific Studies at ANU
  • Mr Ivo Mateus Goncalves, Timor-Leste - Research student, Department of Political & Social Change, Coral Bell School of Asia Pacific Affairs, ANU
  • Ms Anaseini Ulakai, Tonga - will be studying Law and International Relations, ANU
  • Ms Natalie Oliver, Australia - Master of Climate Change student, ANU

Each panel member will discuss how climate change is affecting their country. This will be followed by a Q&A session with the audience.

* A Talanoa is a traditional word used in Fiji and across the Pacific to reflect a process of inclusive, participatory and transparent dialogue. The purpose of Talanoa is to share stories, build empathy and to make wise decisions for the collective good. The process of Talanoa involves the sharing of ideas, skills and experience through storytelling.

This event is hosted by the United Nations Information Centre (UNIC), Pacific Missions in Canberra and the ANU Climate Change Institute.