Scientific reports pointing out the dangers of climate change frequently make the rounds on the internet; including ones looking at the proliferation of ghost forests, warming reefs, and potentially faltering geysers. In a new, more visceral call to climate action the foreign minister from Tuvalu—an island country in the Polynesian subregion of the Pacific Ocean—recently gave a climate change speech knee-deep in ocean water. Calling attention to the possibility that Tuvalu’s sinking at an alarming rate.
Gizmodo reported on the foreign minister’s speech, which he recently gave as a part of the 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference. Or COP26. The speech, excerpts of which are in the video above below from The Guardian, focused on Tuvalu’s “living with the reality of climate change and sea level rise” in real time. The foreign minister, Simon Kofe, spoke in broad terms. But he made it made clear that Tuvalu faces an “existential” climate crisis.
“Climate change and sea level rise are deadly and existential threats to Tuvalu and low atoll lying countries,” Kofe said in his speech. “No matter if we feel the effects today like we do in Tuvalu, or in 100 years, we will all still feel the dire effects of this global crisis one day,” the foreign minister added.
Reuters reports the speech comes amidst a regional push for “more aggressive action” to limit climate change’s impacts. Although it’s not exactly clear from the speech which actions Kofe is calling for. According to an unrelated UNDP Climate Change Adoption report, however, Tuvalu is in need of new seawall construction. As well as more trees and community water tank projects.
It’s difficult to say how immediate the climate change threat is for Tuvalu. But there’s been some good news in the recent past. In 2010, for example, BBC News reported on a study that claimed to show the tiny island nation is actually growing, not sinking. A National Geographic report from 2015 echoed the sentiment. Regardless, what could be wrong with more trees and protective seawalls? We all know what happens when you throw more ice into the ocean.
Feature image: The Guardian