Minister of Tuvalu island films his COP26 speech knee-deep in ocean to highlight climate crisis

WION Web Team
New Delhi Published: Nov 08, 2021, 09:25 PM(IST)

Tuvalu's foreign minister Simon Kofe Photograph:( Others )

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Images of Simon Kofe standing in a suit and tie, with his trouser legs rolled up, have been shared widely on social media.

To highlight the effects of climate of change, the foreign minister of Tuvalu, a low-lying island in the south Pacific, filmed his speech to COP26 climate summit standing knee-deep in the ocean to show how the nation is vulnerable to the climate crisis.

Images of Simon Kofe standing in a suit and tie with his trouser legs rolled up have been shared widely on social media.

The video was shot by public broadcaster TVBC at the far end of Fongafale, the main islet of the capital Funafuti, a government official said.

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“The statement juxtaposes the COP26 setting with the real-life situations faced in Tuvalu due to the impacts of climate change and sea level rise and highlights the bold action Tuvalu is taking to address the very pressing issues of human mobility under climate change,” Kofe told news agency Reuters, ahead of the broadcast of his video message.

Tuvalu, which is about 2,500 miles southwest of Hawaii, is made up of nine small islands and has a population of around 12,000.

Its tourism website, Timeless Tuvalu, warns that by the end of the century it could be underwater.

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“School pupils are learning about the effects of climate change and “could be the last generation of children to grow up in Tuvalu,” the website states, while adding that many people have already emigrated to New Zealand.

Also read | COP26: Why the world is worried about China and CO2 levels

According to the World Bank, western Pacific ocean levels have risen at two to three times faster than the global average. They are forecast to rise between 0.5 and 1.1 metres before the end of the century.

Many big polluters have vowed to intensify their carbon cuts over the coming decades with some aiming for net zero carbon emissions by 2050. But Pacific Island leaders have demanded immediate action, pointing out that the very survival of their low-lying countries is at stake.

(With inputs from agencies)

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