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Big names confirmed for Victoria’s first climate conference

2 December 2015

Big names confirmed for Victoria’s first Pacific climate change conference

The President of Kiribati, founder of global environmental group Bill McKibben and the head of Australian National University’s Climate Change Institute are just some of the big names confirmed to speak at Victoria University of Wellington’s first ever conference to focus on climate change in the Pacific.

The three-day conference, ‘In The Eye of the Storm: Pacific Climate Change Conference’, will bring together experts, leading academics and decision-makers and representatives of community organisations across disciplines such as science, law, politics, economics, indigenous rights and the arts.

Heading the impressive line-up of speakers is President Anote Tong, President of the Republic of Kiribati, who is renowned for his active commitment to combating climate change.

Award-winning author, scholar and founder of global climate change group Bill McKibben will deliver a presentation via video link, and Professor William Steffen, executive director of the Australian National University’s Climate Change Institute, will speak. Well-known American science journalist and author Chris Mooney will also take part.

Other high profile speakers include indigenous rights and environmental lawyer Dayle Takitimu and Victoria University’s climate scientists Professor James Renwick and Dr Tim Naish.

Dr Renwick says a conference that focuses on climate change in the Pacific region is long overdue.

“The Pacific is the eye of the climate change storm, and we’re already experiencing rapid sea level rise, tropical cyclones, acidifying oceans and a plethora of environmental issues that threaten livelihoods and homelands,” he says.

One of the conference organisers, Victoria University Assistant Vice-Chancellor (Pasifika) Hon Luamanuvao Winnie Laban, is proud that Victoria is hosting this ground-breaking conference that focuses specifically on climate change in the Pacific.

“We, in the Pacific, are already seeing the impacts of climate change on our communities. Without action, our environment, economies and social wellbeing will only continue to suffer. This conference is about joining together as a region and taking action that will strengthen us and bring meaningful change,” she says.

An early bird discount is available for those who register online before 31 December 2015.

What: In the Eye of the Storm: Pacific Climate Change Conference 2016
When: 15-17 February, 2016
Where: Victoria University of Wellington

Government Buildings
55 Lambton Quay

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