The question of whether New Zealand should accept Pacific climate change migrants into the country will be the hot topic of discussion by a distinguished panel representing diverse sections of society (politics, academia, policy community and civil society) as part of the annual Macmillan Brown lecture series at the University of Canterbury | Te Whare Wānanga o Waitaha (UC).
- Date: 18 October at 6:00 – 8:00pm
- Location: A1 Lecture Theatre
- Dr Megan Woods is minister responsible for greater Christchurch regeneration, energy and resources, research, science and innovation, and responsibility for the earthquake Commission. She was responsible for climate change for the Labour Party while in opposition.
- Mr Lopeti Senituli is the political and media advisor to the prime minister of Tonga, former CEO of Internal Affairs and former prominent regional peace activist, environmentalist and human rights campaigner.
- Dr Iati Iati is a political scientist and Pacific specialist at the University of Otago. He is co-deputy president of the Pacific Islands Political Studies Association.
- Dr Darren Brunk is a peace studies expert and humanitarian specialist for Oxfam.
While countries around the world have committed themselves to engaging with the climate change threat and building up resilience, there has been little discussion on commitment to potential climate change migrants. Many people in Pacific island states such as Kiribati, Tuvalu and the Marshall Islands fear being enveloped by the encroaching sea. What do we do with those leaving their island countries if they become inundated or ‘sink’?
Will Aotearoa New Zealand and other big countries extend a helping hand?
The idea is to extend the discussions beyond just the environmental, economic, technological, political and ideological narratives into the humanitarian realm. This is part of a broader project by the Macmillan Brown Centre for Pacific Studies (MBC) at UC to re-imagine innovative approaches to broader global, regional and local issues such as climate change and migration, using the critical humanity discourse.
The panel night will also include the presentation of prizes by the minister to the winners of the schools climate change essay writing competition organized by MBC. The event is open to the public.
A real life situation of climate change induced sea level rise, in Bangladesh is documented in the United Nations Development Programme commissioned film, Thirty Million.
This seminar (Thursday 8 September) from climate change talks by Professors Tim Naish & James Renwick of Victoria University, Wellington and Jo Tyndall of Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade.
The film was produced by UC graduate Dr Daniel Price, resulting from his Pole to Paris campaign where he biked across the globe to raise awareness of climate change, after completing a PhD in Antarctic Studies. His Antarctic experience highlighted the effect climate change will have on Antarctic ice and the potential for sea level rise in a warming world.
A panel of UC experts will answer your questions and discuss the effects of sea level rise after the screening:
- Professor Bryan Storey is the Director of Gateway Antarctica, Centre for Antarctic Studies and Research, specialising in paleo climate and past changes to the Earth’s climate system
- Dr Wolfgang Rack is a glaciologist with Gateway Antarctica, researching the contribution that melting Antarctic ice sheets will make to future sea level rise
- Professor Steven Ratuva is the Director of the MacMillan Brown Centre for Pacific Studies, a political sociologist with an interest in the human dimensions of climate change
Date: Thursday 8 September, 6:30pm – free
C3 Lecture Theatre, Central Lecture Theatres, University of Canterbury
6.30pm Introduction by Professor Bryan Storey
6.35pm Thirty Million screening
7.10pm Q&A with expert panel
In late February, the Eco Club Network was established, bringing together various eco clubs on campus including Kakariki, DigSoc, GenZero, CUTC (tramping club), Fossil Free UC, VCUC (Veg Club), SVA, Biosoc, GEOGSOC, Engineers without Borders (EWB) and more.
The aim of the network is to improve coordination between UC’s many eco clubs and events, and ultimately increase the number of people taking part in eco activities. They are also hoping to organise a big eco-event later on in the year (September) – watch this space.
The formation of the network originated from a meeting between George, UCSAs Johnny Duncan and Katie Nimmo (Sustainability Office) in January this year, with the idea to get more collaboration between eco clubs happening. The first ECN meeting was a success, with close to 20 people attending and UCSA president James Addington stepping in as well. Exciting and important sustainability ideas and concerns were shared (like garden rooftops, reducing foodwaste and plastic pollution, UC building materials, Avon river conservation).
Want to know more? Check out the The Eco Club Network facebook page, or get in touch by email firstname.lastname@example.org.
This message was brought to you by the UC Sustainability Office. Connect with us through Facebook or Instagram.
Alister Barry, director and producer of the award-winning ‘Hot Air’ documentary will be present at a screening on 10 November to discuss how lessons learned from twenty years of climate change politics can be used to create change here in New Zealand.
Alister Barry says finding the time and energy to express ourselves politically isn’t easy.
“When we do we want our efforts to be effective, to pull the most effective lever as efficiently as we can. We need to know who are the key decision makers, what they are sensitive to and what actions are a waste of time. Hot Air tells the story of what has been tried over the last twenty years and how effective it was. Most importantly it tells how parliament and political parties have reacted to pressure of one sort and another.
“Dealing with climate change must eventually happen at a national political level. Hot Air lays the ground work for what we need to do politically. We know the problem, now we need to act. After seeing the film, people say to me, ‘I had forgotten so much of this stuff, or didn’t know it at all. Now I have a much better idea about where we should be going.”
WHEN: Tuesday November 10, 7pm-9pm
From November 30 to December 11, France is hosting the 21st Session of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.
This crucial conference needs to achieve a new international agreement on the climate, applicable to all countries, with the aim of keeping global warming below 2 degrees Celsius.
Climate change politics has been part of New Zealand’s political landscape for twenty years , and the documentary ‘Hot Air’ provides a history of these politics, plus outlines how this conference might spark change here in New Zealand. A discussion with director Alister Barry will follow.
Brought to you by the Department of Political Science and International Relations.
WHEN: November 10, 7pm-9pm