Understanding climate
for the benefit of society

Seminar talk: Pacific Science/Policy Perspectives for the Ocean/Climate Nexus

Professor Elisabeth Holland will give a seminar talk on 9 September. 

Elisabeth Holland
Elisabeth Holland

Short biography:

Professor Elisabeth Holland is the Norway Pacific Chair in Oceans and Climate Change a joint appointment of the University of the South Pacific and the University of Bergen based at the University of the South Pacific. Professor Holland was the Director of the Pacific Center for Environment and Sustainable Development, and the University of the South Pacific’s Professor of Climate Change from 2012-2019. Professor Holland brings 30 years of climate change and earth system research experience, including IPCC authorship, to support the development of Pacific research capacity to ensure that her legacy becomes empowerment of Pacific students and communities to build resilient futures. She often serves on Pacific delegations for UNFCCC and IPCC negotiations and led USP’s delegation to support Pacific governments in negotiating the Paris Agreement. Professor Holland has a profound understanding of the climate risks facing the people and cultures of the Pacific Ocean and Islands.



The leaders of Pacific Island countries remain a leading voice pushing for climate action despite the many challenges in the international negotiation space. The Pacific stood strong for action to reduce emissions in negotiating the Paris Agreement and beyond pushing for 5 key elements: 1) Increased ambition in reducing GHG emissions to meet the long term temperature goal of 1.5°C, 2) Increased climate finance and simplified access, 3) legally binding, 4) 5 year review resulting and 5) loss and damage. The future of the Pacific rests on these demands. At the Ocean-Climate nexus, a number of ongoing international policy instruments and negotiations overlap considerably with the UNFCCC negotiations including the Sustainable Development Goals, the Convention on Biological Diversity and Biodiversity Beyond National Jurisdiction (BBNJ), deep sea mining, and the various dimensions of UNCLOS, including the future of the Exclusive Economic Zones of the Pacific Islands countries with rising sea levels, and the inclusion of an Oceans Pathway into the UNFCCC. The upcoming release of the IPCC Special Report on Oceans and Climate Change is likely to highlight a number of issues that have stood outside the scope of previous IPCC reports including indigenous knowledge, governance and the limits to adaptation. The rising tension between the Pacific Island countries and its neighbors was underscored in the recent Pacific Islands Forum negotiations with Australia’s PM resisting efforts by Tuvalu and Vanuatu to push for moving away from coal. How do we as scientists support the voices of the Pacific to join us in pushing for action? How can the science best inform the Pacific positions?


As Big Ocean States, the academic partnership between University of Bergen and the University of the South Pacific serving 12 Pacific countries: Cook Islands


Arranged date for the seminar talk: Sep 09, 2019 at 14:15

Place: BCCR lecture room 4020, Jahnebakken 5,