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#COP21: Drama over ‘most important global agreement in history’

The Paris Agreement on climate action ... what faces New Zealand's obligations to the Pacific? Image: COP21

The Paris Agreement on climate action … what faces New Zealand’s obligations to the Pacific? Image: COP21

Pacific Scoop:
Analysis – By Vernon Rive

For an hour and a half on Sunday evening – in the final excruciating stages of a marathon negotiating session involving through the night meetings on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday – it looked as if a typo in the final draft text might derail proceedings on the Paris Agreement.

A ‘shall’ had been included in the final draft text of Article 4, a clause recording obligations of wealthy countries to set economy-wide targets for greenhouse gas emissions reductions. It should have been ‘should’, the US team insisted.

The difference was no small one. A ‘shall’ would potentially have triggered the need for the Agreement to be presented to the US Senate for approval; a ‘should’, it seems, not. Read more »

#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: Paris climate talks – COP21, or ‘cop out’?

A lack of deep and widespread public concern is why the Paris talks will end up being more talk than significant progress. Image: Think Big

A lack of deep and widespread public concern is why the Paris talks will end up being more talk than significant progress. Image: Think Big

Pacific Scoop:
Analysis – By David Ropeik in Paris

If you worry about climate change, really worry, you are aware of the United Nations-convened COP21 (Council of Parties) negotiations going on for the next week and a half in Paris.

But if you’re like most people, you don’t worry about climate change, not deeply, not enough to be paying attention to the meeting of roughly 200 nations discussing how to reduce the immense threat to life on earth as we know it from what humans are doing to the climate and the entire biosphere.

That lack of deep and widespread public concern is why the Paris talks will end up being more talk than significant progress. Read more »

PARIS ATROCITIES: And so the US hate speech begins in the aftermath

Vigil for Paris in Auckland's Aotea Square. Image: David Robie 14 Nov 2015

An Auckland vigil for the casualties of the Paris atrocities by extremists. Image: David Robie/PMC

Pacific Scoop:
Comment – By Chauncey DeVega

In a still developing situation, the city of Paris, France, has been under attack by terrorists armed with guns and explosives. At least 129 people have been killed. Three hundred and fifty two people have been wounded.

The terrorists took dozens of hostages in a concert hall. French police and military forces have been deployed. There is mayhem and blood in the streets of Paris.

President Obama has correctly described this day’s horrific events as “an attack on all of humanity and the universal values we share.” Read more »

‘Disappearing nation’ Kiribati refugee ordered home: Sad case of Ioane Teitiota

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Ioane Teitiota’s wife Erika and their youngest child at the petition meeting on Monday. Photo: Ida Brock/TWN

“I have often said that this is the moral challenge because it calls on answers which are unprecedented – never written and never heard of, so this calls for outside-the-box solutions.”

– President Anote Tong, 2014

Pacific Scoop:
Special climate change analysis – By Taberannang Korauaba

The deportation of Ioane Teitiota by the John Key government signals a strong message to the low-lying islands in the Pacific that they are not disappearing because their people are still “alive”.

The New Zealand government’s response isn’t surprising given its admission a few weeks before the general election it won last year, it would not accept climate change refugees from the Pacific.

Prime Minister Key has missed a very important opportunity as the eyes of the world have been on New Zealand since 2013 when the courts rejected the climate change refugee case. Read more »

Fiji Report: A day on the job at the Wansolwara newspaper

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Wansolwara editor Sonal Singh (centre) with two editorial colleagues and the front page report on University of the South Pacific student union finances earlier this year. Image: Wansolwara/USP

Pacific Scoop:
Comment – By Kai Ping Lew

Started work yesterday at Wansolwara, the award-winning University of the South Pacific student newspaper, and met with the team of co-ordinators of the regional journalism programme in Fiji.

Tried to get our wi-fi sorted out, but no luck. I found the journalism students really helpful in getting me settled in, and really friendly.

Some of them were really passionate about the ideals of journalism, doing it as a public service, and the need to do it well. I could relate to that. Read more »

Fiji Report: Pacific Scoop student journalist team tackle day one in Suva

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Repúblika Magazine editor Ricardo Morris in Suva … challenging times. Image: Niklas Pedersen/PMC

Pacific Scoop:
Comment – By Niklas Pedersen in Suva

Today, I arrived at the humble headquarters of Repúblika Magazine in an office complex just a couple of minutes in the bus from our home base at the University of the South Pacific.

Already here on the first day of my weeklong internship at Repúblika, editor Ricardo Morris showed me some examples of the challenges he and his magazine face in the Fiji mediascape.

Yesterday both the Sunday editions of The Fiji Times and Fiji Sun carried a warning from the Prime Minister, Voreqe Bainimarama, on their front page. Read more »

Tuna fisheries: Ready to hear the truth about South Pacific albacore?

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Fishermen on board the tuna longliner Ping Tai Rong 55 in the South Pacific haul in and process an albacore tuna. Image: Mark Smith/Greenpeace

Pacific Scoop:
Commentary – By Lagi Toribau of Greenpeace Pacific

These are worrying times for our local Pacific tuna industry. In Fiji boats are being tied up, and staff are being laid off in Samoa, Tonga and in American Samoa where entire fleets are up for sale.

Now there is talk of Starkist’s American Samoa cannery potentially losing 2000 jobs due to limited tuna supplies.

What this tells me is that the current business model and dependency on foreign fishing access and modern technology with destructive fishing techniques is not working for Pacific islanders. Read more »

Rainbow Warrior author calls for justice for Pacific nuclear victims

Evening Report’s Selwyn Manning interviews David Robie about Rongelap, nuclear testing, geopolitics and the Rainbow Warrior legacy. Video: ER on PMC

Pacific Scoop:
Report – By Pacific Media Watch

A media academic has called for increased political and legal pressure on nuclear powers for “real justice” in the Pacific on the eve of the launch of a special edition book about the Rainbow Warrior bombing.

Auckland University of Technology professor David Robie‘s book, a fresh edition of Eyes of Fire: The Last Voyage of the Rainbow Warrior, is being launched at The Cloud on Queen’s Wharf in Auckland tomorrow.

The book is being published in tandem with an Eyes of Fire microsite “public good” about the Rainbow Warrior by Little Island Press in partnership with AUT Bachelor of Communication Studies students, the AUT Pacific Media Centre and Greenpeace. Read more »

West Papua ‘still dangerous’ for journalists, warns independent media watchdog

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President Jokowi with First Lady Ibu Iriana and reporters from AlJazeera (Step Vaessen, on his left) and Bobby Gunawan (far right), and from Jubi, Victor Mambor after doing an exclusi,ve interview in Abepura. Image: Jubi

Pacific Scoop:
Editorial – By West Papua Media

West Papua Media is greatly concerned that the statements made on Friday by Indonesian President Joko (Jokowi) Widodo in Jayapura regarding the ending of the foreign media ban for journalists to visit West Papua, is not being given due diligence by foreign media.

WPM reminds all foreign media workers that West Papua is and still remains an incredibly dangerous place for journalists to report, and present an even greater threat to the safety of all journalism sources.

A full analysis of the actuality of the so-called “lifting” of the foreign media ban in West Papua will be released by West Papua Media’s team in the coming days, including analysis from our clandestine journalists who operate daily in the reality of the Papuan media environment, under threat constantly from Indonesian security forces. Read more »

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