Sinking Island State of Tuvalu Disappointed with Climate Deal
Tuvalu has reacted with disappointment to the outcome of the COP26 climate summit. During the conference in Glasgow, images went viral of the island nation’s foreign minister giving a speech at sea to make it clear that his country is “sinking”.
That director is now unhappy about the fact that the climate deal has been watered down at the last minute.
“We are disappointed that the text on coal has been amended at the last minute,” Minister Simon Kofe told Reuters news agency. Initially, the final statement stated that countries wanted to “phase out” coal, but under pressure from India and China, this was changed at the last minute to “phasing out”.
That is bad news in Tuvalu, which has about 12,000 inhabitants and feels threatened by the effects of climate change. The highest point in the country is more than 4 meters above sea level. If it rises further, areas can become uninhabitable or disappear completely underwater. Kofe said he hopes his video message has made it clear what situation his country is facing.
The minister is critical of the climate plans of some countries. For example, in his view, Australia should have shown more ambition to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees compared to pre-industrial levels. “I think there are reports that even with the current commitments, we are heading for 2.4 degrees,” he said. “So we would have liked to see major countries reduce their emissions further.”