Young people are extremely motivated and passionate to act against the climate crisis says Alex Whitebrook 1 of 100 young climate champions chosen to participate in UN Youth Climate Summit
on September 21 at UN HQ in New York.
The UN Youth Climate Summit is a platform for young leaders who are driving climate action to showcase their solutions at the United Nations, and to meaningfully engage with decision-makers on the defining issue of our time.
This historic event will take place on Saturday, September 21 at the United Nations Headquarters in New York, as part of a weekend of events leading up to the
UN Secretary-General’s Climate Action Summit on Monday, September 23.
In the lead up to the Climate Action Summit on 23 September 2019, to raise ambition and increase climate action, UNIC Canberra in partnership with Australian National University (ANU) Climate Change Institute (CCI) and the Pacific Missions in Canberra organised a public lecture called “UN Climate Action Summit 2019: A Pacific Youth Talanoa for greater ambition on climate change”, on 2 September 2019 at Kambri Cinema, ANU.
The Vice-Chancellor and the President and Chief Executive Officer of ANU, Prof Brian Schmidt, delivered the welcome remarks and expressed his solidarity with the UN Secretary General and with the Pacific neighbours in their call to governments around the world to increase their ambition on climate change. Prof Schmidt noted that ANU researchers, economists and several interdisciplinary teams were working to explore mechanisms for removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere which would not only help tackle climate change, but also create new economic opportunities, support regional communities, improve health outcomes and protect biodiversity.
Nai Jit Lam, UNHCR Deputy Regional Representative delivered the introductory remarks and highlighted that concrete climate action outcomes can be achieved through partnerships and greater political will, together with the intelligence and passion of our youth.
The urgent need to move towards a low carbon economy and build resilience, would not only mitigate the worst impacts of climate change in the Asia-Pacific, but also lift the region economically, according to the body overseeing the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). More
Two days after disembarking from her carbon-free yacht in New York, teen climate activist Greta Thunberg paid a visit to UN Headquarters on Friday, after joining participants of her global climate strike movement, Fridays for Future, at the Organization’s gates. More
“We need to tax pollution, not people”, and “end subsidies for fossil fuels,” Secretary-General António Guterres told the World Summit of the R20 Coalition on Tuesday, a UN-supported environmental organization, founded by former California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger.
The idea that subsidizing fossil fuels is a way to improve people’s lives could not be more wrong, said the UN chief in the Austrian capital, Vienna, because it means spending taxpayers’ money to “boost hurricanes, to spread droughts, to melt glaciers, to bleach corals: to destroy the world.” More
I want to express my very deep solidarity and admiration in relation to the people and the government of Tuvalu.
You are on the frontline of the war on climate change because climate change is striking in Tuvalu in a more dramatic way than anywhere else in the world.
I have enormous admiration for how you have decided to resist and you are implementing a programme of adaptation and resilience that is something that the whole world should admire and support. But it’s necessary that governments that are still causing the problems that affect Tuvalu understand that they need to change. They need to change their energy policies, their transportation policies, the way they manage their cities, the way they are using fossil fuels so that the impact of climate change on Tuvalu can be stopped. Climate change cannot be stopped in Tuvalu it has to be stopped in the rest of the world.
We will be fighting during our Summit in New York to make sure that all countries accept the commitment that we need to be globally carbon neutral by 2050 to limit the increase in temperature to 1.5 degrees.
At the same time, I want to express my deep solidarity and the total support from the United Nations to the government and to the people of Tuvalu in your determined efforts to preserve your country – physically, culturally, in the economic and social dimensions, as a rich component of the Pacific and the international community.
The UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres saw the frontline of “the battle against climate change” for himself on Thursday, by taking to the tropical waters of the South Pacific off the coast of Fiji, on a solar-powered boat. More
Thank you, your Excellency Honourable Prime Minister, for your words and especially thank you very much for the extremely warm hospitality I have been enjoying in your wonderful country.
This visit has two dimensions: the Fijian dimension and the Pacific dimension.
In the Fijian dimension it is a visit of gratitude in which I want to express how much we appreciate the extraordinary contribution of the Fijian people and the Fijian Government to all the important areas of action of the United Nations and all the important areas of international cooperation.
Fiji has been a strong and committed partner in peacekeeping. Fijian soldiers and Fijian police officers have shown enormous determination, enormous courage, and some of them, unfortunately, have lost their lives protecting the lives of vulnerable people – of women, of children – in some of the most dangerous places in the world.
There is a depth of gratitude that all of the international community in relation to Fiji that I want to express very clearly, being side by side with a former peacekeeper.
Your Excellency, Honourable Speaker Mr. Nailatikau, Your Excellency, Honourable Prime Minister Bainimarama, Distinguished Ministers and Members of Parliament, I am delighted to be here today. It is a great honour to address the Parliament of the Republic of Fiji.
I was in parliament for 26 years of my life. Six and a half of them as Prime Minister.
Being in the Parliament of Fiji I feel twice at home. At home because I’m in Fiji and at home because I’m in the Parliament.
Bula Vinaka, good afternoon, and thank you for your warm welcome and hospitality.
Fiji is a country of extraordinary beauty, with a unique connection to the ocean and the sky.
Your strong traditions of community and social responsibility, and your symbiotic relationship with your surroundings, make you natural global leaders on climate and the environment.
From your chairmanship of COP23, the United Nations climate talks in Bonn, to your co-hosting of the UN’s first-ever conference on the Ocean, to the work of my Special Envoy, Peter Thomson, Fijians have been at the forefront of international action and advocacy on climate and the sea.
Secretary-General’s remarks at the closing of High-Level Political Dialogue of the Pacific Island Forum, Suva,
15 May 2019
Thank you, Mr. President.
This has been a very illuminating meeting. I learned a lot. Allow me to extract four main conclusions from everything I heard today.
The first is that the Pacific Island States have the moral authority to tell the world that climate change needs to be reversed, because the Pacific Island States are leading by example. Even with all the difficulties – the lack of resources, the isolation, the distances, the lack of scale –the truth is that the Pacific Island States are not only building resilience and investing in adaptation to protect their citizens, their communities and their culture to protect their environment, but they are fixing for themselves very ambitious targets in relation to mitigation.
I heard today the very important commitment that the countries of the region are assuming to dramatically reduce emissions and be able to be fully in line with the target that we have all fixed to make sure that the temperature does not rise at the end of the century by more than 1.5 degrees.
I was surprised by the level of innovation you introduced, by the efforts made by the Pacific partnership in all its dimensions, by the commitments made by different countries in relation to their nationally determined contributions. This should be an example for the most developed countries in this world. I was surprised by the very advanced innovations announced using mobile technologies and mobilizing all capacities of the States in order to make sure that countries who are victims of climate change without contributing to it, that they do everything possible at their scale to reduce emissions and to show solidarity with the rest of the world.
This moral authority of the Pacific Island States needs to be clearly recognized.