'We are sinking': Tuvalu minister gives Cop26 speech standing knee deep in seawater

Foreign minister of Tuvalu gets his feet wet for COP26

A few years ago, The Guardian published an article on climate change effects on Tuvalu, which is a small Polynesian country. “Tuvalu is sinking” was reported to be the local catch phrase regarding these effects, and it was said that two of Tuvalu’s nine islands were already at the edge of their existence. Now, the Guardian and several other media around the world have shared a wake-up call in the form of a video with Tuvalu’s foreign minister, Simon Kofe, standing knee-deep in the ocean. The video was recorded and presented as a speech to COP26. In his opening remark, the minister states that “In Tuvalu, we are already living the realities of climate change – sea level rise”. He stresses that there is no time to “wait for speeches when the sea is rising around us all the time”. The minister calls for bold action today so that tomorrow can be secured. In a later part of his speech, he points out that everyone else is sinking as well, and that whether now or in a hundred years, everyone will sooner or later experience the severe effects of the global crisis.

Sources: The Guardian 16 May 2019, Ainge Roy, E. ‘One day we’ll disappear: Tuvalu’s sinking islands`
The Guardian 9 November 2021 ´ Tuvalu minister to address Cop26 knee deep in water to highlight climate crisis and sea level rise`


In this issue