Scoop has an Ethical Paywall
License needed for work use Register

World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search


Pacific Island Artists Demand Governments Fulfill 1.5°C Promises In Film Series “Fighting For Our Survival”

Ahead of the 5th anniversary of the Paris Agreement, artists from the Pacific islands call for the international community to urgently defund the fossil fuel industry amidst the dual crises of climate change and COVID-19.

The three-part film series, “Fighting for Our Survival”, is produced by youth-led grassroots climate network 350 Pacific Climate Warriors, the Climate Vulnerable Forum and award-winning Fijian filmmaker Ropate Kama. It tells a story of climate injustice: the carbon pollution from industrialized nations which disproportionately affects frontline communities, and the rising of Pacific leadership and resilience.

Featuring poet and United Nations Climate Envoy for the Marshall Islands Kathy Jetñil-Kijiner, Tongan singer-songwriter Mia Kami, poet Frances C. Koya Vaka'uta also known as 1angrynative, and MATA, a Fijian dance crew, the film is an emotionally-charged appeal to governments and financial institutions globally.

The Pacific message is clear: Politicians must defund the fossil fuel industry to limit the warming of the earth to 1.5°C — so that nations on the frontlines of climate change can continue to survive.

The United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, in response to 350 Pacific Climate Warriors, has stated that “we need to stop fossil fuel subsidies.” Yet, in the past three years, G20 countries have given $584 billion annually to support the production and consumption of fossil fuels, the largest carbon emissions source.

Advertisement - scroll to continue reading

Are you getting our free newsletter?

Subscribe to Scoop’s 'The Catch Up' our free weekly newsletter sent to your inbox every Monday with stories from across our network.

“As sea level rises, so do our Pacific voices. Although the COP26 negotiations were canceled this year due to the pandemic, the climate emergency has not subsided. It’s been five years since the Paris Agreement, yet governments are still funding fossil fuels instead of trying to meet their climate goals. This needs to change now before we run out of time. As Pacific people, we will continue to raise our voices on the global stage as long as the 1.5°C goal is not met, ” said Alisi Rabukawaqa-Nacewa, Council of Elder for the 350 Pacific Climate Warriors.

Fighting for Our Survival will be launched in three parts, from 10 to 12 Dec 2020, 7PM Fiji Time (GMT+12), on

Ropate Kama, co-owner of Kama Catch Me, an award-winning videography collective:

“Using my filmmaking skills to tell the stories of the Pacific is my way of fighting for our home. As an indigenous Fijian, I want to support the movement to ensure a livable future.”

Frances C Koya Vaka'uta (1angrynative), Poet, Fiji/Samoa, Associate Professor and Director of the Oceania Centre for Arts, Culture and Pacific Studies at the University of the South Pacific:

“Climate change is already affecting our oceans and our land — which we as Pacific peoples are inextricably linked to – ecologically, physically, emotionally, and spiritually. Through my art, I am calling for action, for governments to hear our Pacific voices, just as they did five years ago when the 1.5°C global goal was set. They must defund the fossil fuel industry before it’s too late for everyone.”

Kathy Jetñil-Kijiner, Poet and United Nations Climate Envoy for the Marshall Islands:

“I wrote this poem because I felt moved by the work I’ve witnessed from our climate team here on the ground and abroad. Despite all of the challenges and barriers, Pacific islanders are doing everything we can in the climate realm to protect our islands. We are already experiencing climate change - it is not an event far in the future, such as most net-zero pledges are. It is now and here. Whatever the public discourse and debate are, the fact is we are short on time. Governments and financial institutions must act for a just, fair transition to renewable energy — not just for the Pacific, but for their people too.”

Mia Kami, Musician, Tonga:

“The international community for too long has portrayed Pacific islanders as victims. Sea level rise threatens to swallow our islands. But others who have not walked in our shoes, though well-intentioned, sometimes drown out our voices. Through my lyrics, I want to remind everyone that Pacific islanders are resilient and strong. We are not victims waiting to be saved; we are on the frontlines of climate change, fighting for our future.”

© Scoop Media

Advertisement - scroll to continue reading
World Headlines

UN News: Aid Access Is Key Priority

Among the key issues facing diplomats is securing the release of a reported 199 Israeli hostages, seized during the Hamas raid. “History is watching,” says Emergency Relief Coordinator Martin Griffiths. “This war was started by taking those hostages. Of course, there's a history between Palestinian people and the Israeli people, and I'm not denying any of that. But that act alone lit a fire, which can only be put out with the release of those hostages.” More

Save The Children: Four Earthquakes In a Week Leave Thousands Homeless

Families in western Afghanistan are reeling after a fourth earthquake hit Herat Province, crumbling buildings and forcing people to flee once again, with thousands now living in tents exposed to fierce winds and dust storms. The latest 6.3 magnitude earthquake hit 30 km outside of Herat on Sunday, shattering communities still reeling from strong and shallow aftershocks. More

UN News: Nowhere To Go In Gaza

UN Spokesperson Stéphane Dujarric said some 1.1M people would be expected to leave northern Gaza and that such a movement would be “impossible” without devastating humanitarian consequences and appeals for the order to be rescinded. The WHO joined the call for Israel to rescind the relocation order, which amounted to a “death sentence” for many. More

Access Now: Telecom Blackout In Gaza An Attack On Human Rights

By October 10, reports indicated that fixed-line internet, mobile data, SMS, telephone, and TV networks are all seriously compromised. With significant and increasing damage to the electrical grid, orders by the Israeli Ministry of Energy to stop supplying electricity and the last remaining power station now out of fuel, many are no longer able to charge devices that are essential to communicate and access information. More


Join Our Free Newsletter

Subscribe to Scoop’s 'The Catch Up' our free weekly newsletter sent to your inbox every Monday with stories from across our network.