Tuvalu is an island nation in the Pacific composed of nine atolls between Australia and Hawaii. According to the World Bank, the sea level is rising approximately 5 millimeters per year around Tuvalu. Simon Kofe is Tuvalu’s Foreign Minister, his message has gone viral as he delivered an impactful message at COP26’s convention knee-deep in seawater.
“We cannot wait for speeches when the sea is rising all around us all the time. We must take bold alternative actions today to secure tomorrow.”
Kofe demands world leaders to keep their Paris Agreement target of 1.5°C temperature increase. He also calls for greater accountability for all nations that have historically contributed the most emissions.
If the Paris Agreement targets are not met–45% emissions cut by 2030–then sea levels in the Pacific will rise from half a meter to 1.1 meters before the end of the century.