8 Dec 2015

Tuvalu again warns temperature rise will spell its demise

4:24 pm on 8 December 2015

The Tuvalu prime minister, Enele Sopoaga, has again stressed that any further temperature increase beyond 1.5°C will spell the total demise of Tuvalu, and other low lying island nations.

Tuvalu Prime Minister Enele Sopoaga

Tuvalu's Prime Minister, Enele Sopoaga Photo: RNZI / Jamie Tahana

In his address at the High Level Segment of the COP21 in Paris, he said even at current warming Tuvalu's future is already bleak, and greenhouse gases need to be urgently cut.

He says there is no time left for rhetoric or hiding, and the world must stand together to finalise an agreement towards keeping global temperature rises within 1.5 °C of warming.

Mr Sopoaga says there needs to be a permanent mechanism for Loss and Damage anchored in the Paris Treaty, so there is assurance that the necessary response to climate change impacts will be forthcoming.

He says this is important to Tuvalu and other low-lying small island developing states so their survival from increased sea level, and other severe impacts of climate change, can be safeguarded.

Mr Sopoaga says the Paris Treaty must have clear objectives that protect human rights, promote gender equality, respect the rights of indigenous peoples and ensure that all actions under the treaty are environmentally sound.