tv The Eco Prime Minister BBC News December 13, 2021 1:30am-2:01am GMT
this is bbc news. we will have the headlines and all the news at the top of the hour, straight after programme. leaders of the 620, we are drowning, and our only hope is the life ring you are holding. the western world is responsible for 76% of carbon emissions. you don't need my painl or my tears to know that we're in a crisis. no city, no community and no
ecosystem will be spared from the reckoning that lies beyond 1.5 degrees of warming. not everyone gets to make choices about life and death. we here are privileged today to do exactly that. the pacific islands are facing an existential crisis. extreme weather patterns and rising sea levels are already forcing people to relocate and threatening to create a generation of climate refugees. what's happening here is a bellwether of the planet's future. as the world met for the cop 26 in glasgow, i traveled to the pacific islands to meet women
on the front lines who are leading the fight against the climate crisis, from elders relocating their villages. .. they told us to go, go. you just worry about your life. ..to a younger generation leading with practical approaches. so mangroves are the real eco heroes and the eco gems. ..from the first female leader in the pacific islands. building up islands is a possibility that is going to take a lot of money that we don't have. ..to the only current serving female prime minister. there's very low emissions from the pacific— and yet we are most impacted. ..who carries the expectations of a generation of young women looking for representation. fiame naomi mata'afa became samoa's first female prime minister in 2021. the pacific islands region has the lowest female representation
in politics in the world. this year, she'll be attending the cop 26 remotely. climate change is an existential threat to countries like samoa. i don't think it changes, you know, whether i'm the minister of the environment or the prime minister because it's essentially threatening, you know, the life of the planet. if we recall that cop in paris, that's where there was a special call for leaders to come to, to the cop, you know, it was quite an effort to make sure that the leadership was there. and that has also been the continued call to all the following cops, up to the latest in glasgow. because we are on the frontline in the pacific region, it appears more distant perhaps than in other places. but i think it's been said of the pacific that this
is really the measure of, you know, where climate change is at. we have to adapt, we have to go down that path, the alternative is unthinkable. as one of the largest islands in the pacific, fiji has played a leading role for its smaller neighbours in many climate—related projects, including home relocation. lity comes from the village of tukuraki that was hit by back—to—back cyclones. it led to her entire village being relocated and rebuilt further up in the highlands. whilst the new village is finished, she told me that many of the villagers still return to the caves that offered them shelter from previous storms. this is the cave. if he bigger cyclone comes, the house will fall, - which we worry about.
we worry about your life. you don't know about all living all your life. - just come here and live. you know, when we 20, - 30 people still have one night or other nights, you i don't worry about this. only the thing we worried about is the hurricane - would be finished. we save our life here. so you feel safer in the cave then any village? yeah.
just this one house has left. just this one left? yes, this is my son's. oh, yes, it is open. one part of the house i'm taking away, this side. i the bed, all the close, we lost the money had a keen come. everybodyjust got up and left. i couldn't do anything so bad. because we were afraid. only the main thing to do was to go. - they told us i do not worry about all the things, - your house, nothing. just worry about your life. it took several years and almost one million fijian dollars to move 100 people from all tukuraki just a few miles down the road. and it was an emotional move for people as well. people tie their identity to their land in the pacific islands, but relocation is only
going to become more common with more climate—induced disasters. can we go back to our home islands with nothing? and for my country, the answer to that is no. it's hard to understate the urgency of the crisis in places like the marshall islands. the current projected rise in sea levels threatens 40% of building structures in its capital. kathy kitchener is a poet and the daughter of the former president, hilda heine. she'll be attending the cop 26 as part of the island's delegation this year. in 2014, she captured a global audience at the un when she read her poem written for her baby daughter. because we won't let you down. now seven years old, her daughter payneham is still facing the same
threats that her mum and grandmother are fighting. i am transitioning from this poetry creative side to exactly what you focus on now, which is the kind of more practical solution. even a poet is now moving into public policy. so if somebody is like what is this poet doing here? hello, senator heine, how are you? in terms of the marshall islands right now and climate change, do you think adaptation is possible? the government is working on our adaptation plan and looking at building up islands as a possibility. i mean, it's going to take a lot of money that we don't have, but that might be the only option we have at this point. are you in the marshall islands
having conversations about migration, about climate refugees, about actually moving people right now? as 2a islands with communities, and so if we were to build up islands, which island can we build up? because we cannot afford to build up all the islands. and if we were to relocate people, which islands do you relocate people to? especially we have a culture where certain lands belong to certain families, so these are really hard questions. i personally would like to see my granddaughter continue to live in the marshall islands and have the same opportunities i had to learn our cultural protocols, that she can learn her unique language and culture on the same stretch of sand her brothers and sisters learned on. and i don't think that's an unreasonable expectation
to have for our people. a large part of the negotiations of cop 26 will be on how to mitigate global warming to 1.5 degrees. but in samoa and the pacific, there's an equal urgency in securing money to adapt to living with the already devastating effects of climate change. i don't think, you know, there was a consciousness and people weren't talking about climate change when i was a young child. but you did begin to see it in terms of the impact that it had. you know, because this is beachfront and we saw that encroachment and we saw the people moving. perhaps we didn't give it the name climate change, but we saw the impact. you know, it's very sad that for us in the pacific,
there's very low emissions from the pacific and yet we are most impacted. and of course, because we are island states and samoa's in a more fortunate situation that we are volcanic, so we have high ground, but the the echo islands, you know, there is significant impact of the sea rise, even to the extent where the sovereignty of nations, because their land is literally going under the water. fiame is launching her country's own climate policy as part of samoa's efforts to meet the paris agreement. a key part of it will be on accessing climate funds. this is the amount of money worked out at cop26 that the big carbon emitters contribute to help pay for the climate damage suffered by smaller emitters such as samoa.
as we are meeting here, the world community is meeting in glasgow, scotland, for the cop 26, and one of the things that they hope to achieve in glasgow is the rule book, which is essentially how we will go about addressing the climate change challenge and the commitments that countries will make. this is the indication of our commitment to climate change, and i hope that they will not only be words written on a page, but that we will carry out the intent of the words therein. applause. we do not want that dreaded
death sentence, and we've come here today to say try harder, try harder. in glasgow, cathy has been navigating the negotiations as part of the fight to secure the billions needed for the marshall islands to adapt for its future survival. so we need funding right now for adaptation. we need that funding to be accessible. we need to be...and we need it to be scaled up. so we need a large amount of money. we have studies thatjust came out that gave us preliminary costs for adaptation for basically ensuring that our islands are safe in the present and those costs are in the several billions, and so the financing that we need is a scale in which we can't meet, you know, and we didn't cause any of it, so we shouldn't have to pay a single cent for it. it's now my pleasure . to introduce tina stege, the climate envoy ofi the marshall islands. we would love to hear youri thoughts on what you would like to see from the | outcomes of cop26.
we have advocated for a balance between mitigation and adaptation finance. our belief is that finance is critical to rights and to success here in glasgow. we're really on the front of the very front lines with no higher ground to retreat to and so we understand, as do all of our brothers and sisters in the pacific and in islands around the world, the stakes of this fight. so, the uk prepared this session so that the pacific could talk directly with the president of cop26. i know this is particularly important for the pacific. i hope we will see progress on all of these issues, prime minister. and finally i want to say to you that my team and i are straining every fibre to ensure that we are able to say with credibility that we
have kept 1.5 within reach. can i also thank you and the uk delegation for providing the opportunity for the pacific, including many of us who were not able to travel to glasgow. we are still experiencing disadvantages of size and a much reduced voice and cannot help but feel continually being marginalised. a five—year common time frame is the only outcome aligned with the ambition mechanism of the paris agreement. remember, we are negotiating for the survival of our islands. as negotiations continue, many activists in the pacific are taking actions into their own hands. in fiji, anne—marie is known
locally as the pacific's greta. when i think of the climate crisis, i'm panicking. my family and i are really panicking on... you know, when i look at my three—year—old sister, eunice, i question what will be herfuture look like if faith and i don't do something now, raising awareness, sounding the emergency alarm, and i question, like, is our actions really worth it today? are there enough women voices that you look around in the pacific islands that are speaking up about climate change? the prime minister of samoa gives young girls my age and older women, you know, that chance to be leaders. and it gives us that, you know, platform, that space for us to be in decision—making, platforms to raise our concerns
and to, you know, inspire the upcoming generations. as a teen climate activist and as a girl, a young lady, i also get criticised and, you know, discriminated by men because they want to listen from boys and men. the climate crisis hits anyone. it doesn't hit a specific gender. it hits everyone. you know, women, we are underrepresented in every decision—making policies or platforms so, yes, it really affects women and girls. one of the projects anne—marie has started with friends is a mangrove planting group. they've been responsible for planting over 10,000 mangroves. a mangrove is a shrub that grows in salty water terrain and it's special because it has these meshed—up roots, which mean that it acts as a buffer to the sea. they also help suck up over six billion tonnes of carbon from the atmosphere annually.
so mangroves are the real eco heroes and the eco champs. this is all the mangroves that we planted back in 2018. and it starts from this seedling and then it will eventually end up as a mangrove forest. so, are mangrove planting like a real solution to climate change or are they more of a plaster? there's a lot of solutions towards the climate crisis. and because here in fiji we, you know, we can't leave our classrooms to go for a march or strike or for some reasons, so this is our way of striking for the government to, you know, relook at their plans and to move on from abstract solutions to tangible oriented solutions, which we need is concrete action. you know, it gives me hope that, you know,
we continue to plant, we continue to walk the talk and, you know, that's really important. and if one thing that i've learned in my three years of activism is that you cannot allow anyone to walk your talk. climate change disproportionately affects women, especially those from indigenous communities. i wanted to ask fiame how much this affects her approach as the only female leader in the pacific region. when you look at politics, it's representative government. and, you know, i do encourage women who may not necessarily be thinking about a political career, but that, you know, they continue and especially demonstrate leadership, in whichever area or sector that they are active in. and perhaps somewhere down the line, you know, they might see that the political option is something that they could step into. when you live in a country
where the women's minister is a man and you don't see the representation, it becomes a disconnect of what you can see, and that's the case in samoa as well — the women's minister isa man. yeah, well, i don't necessarily have a problem with men being ministers, you know, for women, because we've had a few. in fact, i think i've been the only woman minister for women. you know, as long as they are able to recognise the policy needs of gender issues, then i think that's the important thing. and, you know, given that there's so many more men in our parliaments and governments, it's so important to get the message through to the male leadership as well so that they can become
champions of gender equality. if you could look on balance and think what are the positive outcomes and the sort of negative outcomes of events like cop26? i don't know whether it's just the nature of how things are with human beings that when you're pushed, you take your extreme position, then how you navigate to bring those extremes, you know, to come to a middle ground. you know, with covid, we've seen such a strong collaboration. that's a very clear example and demonstration of what we can do when people feel... when they're pushed to act, so we can do it. you know, the world can move,
hello there. it was noticeably mild today right across the country, but particularly so for england and wales. now, we look to the north—west through this evening and overnight. this deep area of low pressure — small system but very vigorous, passing to the north—west of the uk — will bring a spell of gales to northern ireland and in towards scotland as well. stormy conditions for the hebrides and the northern isles, perhaps severe gales for a time, some blustery showers. it will turn a bit drier here by the end of the night but for england and wales, it'll stay cloudy with outbreaks of rain, certainly through wales and into the midlands. mild in the south — double figure values here. a little bit cooler further north. and that's how things look into monday. we hold on to the cloud for large parts of england and wales. we'll continue with this persistent rain as well for parts of wales and the midlands, into northern england, some areas pretty wet all day. brightest weather will be across scotland and northern ireland. a few blustery showers, wintry on the hills,
will be milder across the south. single figures across the north. that weather front for england and wales clears away into tuesday. high pressure begins to build in here. it stays unsettled over the northern half of the country — lots of isobars and weather fronts. so windy for scotland and northern ireland and some rain, particularly for the north and west of scotland. england and wales, though, closer to that area of high pressure should be largely dry, some cloud around but also some good spells of sunshine. those temperatures will be around orjust a little above the seasonal norm. so as we head out of tuesday into wednesday, we continue with that area of high pressure across the south of the country so here, settled with light winds. still quite windy across the northern half of the country with further outbreaks of rain, thanks to that weather front. so, some wet weather, northern ireland, certainly for northern and western scotland, maybe a little bit of brightness at times. it stays windy here, lighter winds in the south. again, variable cloud, some good spells of sunshine. those temperatures perhaps a little bit higher again — double figure values for most — and nights will be much milder as well, frost—free for most of us. then beyond wednesday, we see this area of high pressure start to really
take its force across the uk. that'll push the weather fronts away from the north. it'll be sitting on top of the by friday and into the following weekend, so it means winds will turn very light. so, there's a chance it turns really grey and gloomy by the end of the week, turning a bit colder as well as we head on into the new weekend, and we will see some problems with mist and fog.
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