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#COP21: The Paris climate agreement: The real work starts now

The more ambitious target of 1.5C will be beyond our reach within a decade or two at current rates of fossil fuel use around the world. Image: Pulse

The more ambitious target of 1.5C will be beyond our reach within a decade or two at current rates of fossil fuel use around the world. Image: Pulse

Pacific Scoop:
Analysis – By
Pep Canadell and Rob Jackson

The Paris climate agreement is an extraordinary achievement. It codifies the long-term goal of keeping global temperature increases below 2°C. It also sets a more ambitious aspirational target of capping global warming at 1.5°C degrees.

But this more ambitious target will be beyond our reach within a decade or two at current rates of fossil fuel use around the world.

Beyond how achievable the goals are, and at what cost they can be achieved, they are aggressive and consistent with minimising the dangerous interference of human activities on the climate system. Read more »

COP21: Draft Paris Outcome on table for climate deal includes Pacific options

Draft Paris Agreement on the table ... relief for the moment for Pacific. Image: Politico

Draft Paris Agreement on the table … relief for the moment for Pacific. Image: Politico

Pacific Scoop:
Report – By
Makereta Komai, editor of PACNEWS, in Paris

After a week of negotiations, negotiators from 195 countries have produced a Draft Paris Outcome that is likely to become the new global climate agreement on 11 December.

To the relief of Pacific, the Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS) and G77 and China, the proposal by the United States and other developed countries to remove loss and damage from the Paris Agreement is now gone, replaced with a proposal (Option 1) to include it  as a stand-alone Article 5.

The second option wants to push Loss & Damage back to Article 4, alongside the Adaptation provision. Read more »

Australian authorities move in to seize ‘rebel’ detention centre

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Christmas Island detention centre for refugees … tear gas and rubber bullets. Image: DW

Pacific Scoop:
Report – By Pacific Media Watch

A detainee at Australia’s Christmas Island Immigration Detention Centre says armed officers have moved in to take back control of the facility today, reports Māori Television.

The inmate, who has asked to be called “Ariki” (chief) says officers have moved in and fired rubber bullets at some of the detainees.

“They moved in and headed straight to compound 1, they are all out on the field and are keeping an eye on the other compounds.” Read more »

Christmas Island detainees in ‘stand-off’ over Iranian-Kurd refugee’s death

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Iranian-Kurdish refugee Fazal Chegeni … his body found at the base of a cliff. Image: ABC

Pacific Scoop:
Report – By Pacific Media Watch

The Australian federal government has confirmed a number of people at the Christmas Island Detention Centre are involved in a “stand-off” with authorities following the death of an Iranian refugee, reports the ABC.

One detainee is receiving medical treatment following a riot at the facility.

Immigration Minister Peter Dutton said it was hoped order would be restored in the coming hours. Read more »

AI accuses Australian border officials of ‘lawless’ actions on asylum-seekers

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Graphic: Amnesty International

Pacific Scoop:
Report – By Pacific Media Watch

New evidence gathered by Amnesty International suggests that Australia’s maritime border control operations now resemble a lawless venture with evidence of criminal activity, pay-offs to boat crews and abusive treatment of women, men and children seeking asylum.

Through interviews with asylum-seekers, a boat crew and Indonesian police, a new report – By hook or by crook – exposes evidence that, in May 2015, Australian officials working as part of Operation Sovereign Borders paid six crew who had been taking 65 people seeking asylum to New Zealand US$32,000 and told them to take the people to Indonesia instead. The Australians also provided maps showing the crew where to land in Indonesia.

Witness testimonies backed by video footage reveal how the intervention by Australian officials endangered the lives of the people seeking asylum by transferring them to different boats that did not have enough fuel, and how the incident fits into a wider pattern of abusive so-called “turnbacks” or “pushbacks” of boats. Read more »

RSF criticises Nauru government over blocking media visa requests

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Refugees in Nauru … Australian legislation outlawing “whistleblowers”. Image: Guardian

Pacific Scoop:
Report – By Pacific Media Watch

Reporters Without Borders condemns Nauru’s decision to impose a media embargo amid growing controversy about alleged human rights abuses in the Australian government refugee detention centre on the island.

Nauru’s authorities must allow journalists to investigate the allegations.

The island’s authorities have not only turned a blind eye to allegations of rape and other abuses in the detention centre, which they host on behalf of the Australian government, but they have also decided to block all media coverage of the alleged abuses. Read more »

Remove all asylum seekers from Pacific detention centres plea to Turnbull

An alleged rape victim makes call to Nauruan police. Video: ABC News

Pacific Scoop:
Report – By the PMC news desk

An Australian women’s human rights campaign has appealed to Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull to urgently remove all asylum seekers from the Pacific detention centres on Nauru and Manus Island.

The group Australian Women in Support of Women on Nauru has announced that a crowd-funding drive has raised more than $20,000 to send investigative journalist Wendy Bacon and former West Australian premier Carmen Lawrence to Nauru to “bear witness” in the wake of allegations of 23 men, women and children being raped with impunity.

A 26-year-old Somalian woman – whose terrified phone plea to police for help after allegedly being raped was broadcast by ABC television – is still on Nauru. Police have dropped her case citing lack of evidence. Read more »

40 years of independence, but PNG still dealing with Australian colonial legacy

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Papua New Guinea raises its national flag to mark 40 years of independence from Australia. Image: Oceania Football Confederation

Pacific Scoop:
Analysis – By Nicholas Ferns

September 16 marks the 40th anniversary of the establishment of the sovereign nation of Papua New Guinea. Celebrations are being held throughout the country.

It is worth remembering that Australia was the country that granted independence to Papua New Guinea. For almost 70 years, Australia maintained colonial rule over the eastern half of New Guinea. Unfortunately, this fact is largely absent in contemporary discussions of relations between the countries.

When Australia’s “colonial” history is mentioned, it almost always refers to the period 1788-1901. Little attention is given to Australia’s 20th-century empire of Papua New Guinea and Nauru. Read more »

Small Pacific states defiant over stronger climate change stance

Niklas Pedersen reporting from Fiji … Pacific leader calls for stronger action on climate change in Suva spilled over into Port Moresby at the Pacific Islands Forum this week. Video: PMC

Pacific Scoop:
Koro Vaka’uta and the PNG media

The Pacific Forum leaders summit has concluded without unity on climate change. While leaders have talked of solidarity, cracks have appeared over the subject of climate change.

Representatives from the 16 forum member countries gathered in Port Moresby over the week to address issues concerning the region, but there are a several conflicting positions, particularly when it comes to Australia and New Zealand.

Small island states have called for a global moratorium on new coal mines, which may struggle to get the backing of the wider forum, and enough of a reduction in emissions so that global temperature increases do not exceed 1.5°C over pre-industrial levels. Read more »

Smaller Pacific states’ Port Moresby Declaration calls for coal moratorium

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Pacific smaller island states representatives in Port Moresby. Image: PNG Loop

Pacific Scoop:
Report – By PNG Loop in Port Moresby

Leaders of the Pacific Smaller Island States have called on all nations  – especially  the advanced economies in the region – to rise to the challenge of climate change.

They want to steer the world on a path where climate change is no longer a threat to earth.

As a first step, they called for a global moratorium on all new coal mines. Read more »