Human Forced Climate Change and the South Pacific

Prof Brendan Mackey discusses Climate Change with attendees
Dr Parmedra Sharma Chair of the South Pacific Studies Group

The South Pacific Studies Group was pleased to host a presentation by Prof Brendan Mackey,Director, Griffith’s Climate Change Response Program on Climate Change in the South Pacific.

Global climate change is now an established scientific fact. Given the long lags in the Earth system, whatever success the international community achieves in mitigating greenhouse gas emissions, we are facing climatic disruption for thousands of years. This sobering scenario means that nations, communities and businesses will have no choice but to adapt to the unavoidable impacts of an ever changing climate. However, that adaptation practically depends on how the climate changes at a regional scale and the particularities of local social, economic and political circumstances. For the South Pacific, climate change challenges and adaptation responses will differ between the small island nation states and the Melanesian countries; though, at the same time there are shared problems and opportunities.

Dr Parmedra Sharma introduced Prof Mackey who focused the discussion on (1) some of the regional issues that arise from climate change impacts (security; migration; ocean fisheries) and (2) the role of Australia as a “good neighbour” and responsible development partner.

Prof Brendan Mackey is a member of the international Council for the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). He serves on various governmental advisory bodies including the science advisory group to the Climate Change Commission and has written over 100 academic publications including journal articles, books and book chapters.