Tuvalu’s Foreign Minister Addressed COP26 From Knee-Deep Seawater

Tuvalu’s foreign minister, Simon Kofe, addressed COP26 from knee-deep seawater. He recorded a video addressing the issue of climate change affecting his low-lying Pacific Island nation on the frontline, with a powerful image of the minister standing in knee-deep seawater in a suit and tie, indicating the threat of rising sea level. The speech went viral on social media and grabbed everyone’s attention.

The video was captured by public broadcaster TVBC, with the main idea of asking for some immediate action plan. In the COP26 summit, several big polluters have pledged to achieve net-zero emissions by the year 2050. Unfortunately, many Pacific Island nations have chosen not to attend the summit amid the pandemic circumstances.

Tuvalu’s Foreign Minister Addressed COP26 in Knee-Deep Sea water

Image: Tuvalu Foreign Ministry/Reuters

Kofe, in his video, mentioned;

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.

As the Pacific small island states and territories did not send any environmental figures to the COP26 summit because of COVID-19 travel limitations, some leaders are sending video messages.

Tuvalu is composed of nine small coral islands scattered in a chain and has an approximate population of 11,000 people. According to an Australian government report of 2011, sea levels in Tuvalu have been rising since 1993. Its highest point is just 4.5 meters above sea level, which makes it susceptible to the catastrophic impacts of climate change.

Kofe clarified that the video was recorded on the place which used to be a dry land once but is now underwater. Due to lack of resources and proper representation, the nations of the Pacific Ocean feared the depiction of their climate change crisis in the COP26 meeting.

However, this video from Tuvalu sends a formidable message and draws much-needed attention to the country’s plight.


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