21 Sep 2018

Tuvalu reminds UN of existential threat of climate change

6:41 pm on 21 September 2018

Tuvalu has reminded the United Nations that climate change poses an existential threat to the country.

Funafuti's oceanside shoreline, Tuvalu

Funafuti's oceanside shoreline, Tuvalu Photo: RNZI / Johnny Blades

Tuvalu's Ambassador to Belgium, Aunese Makoi Simati, made the comment in Geneva at the annual UN Human Rights Council session.

He said climate change and sea-level rise were detrimental to the fundamental human rights of Tuvaluans.

Mr Simati, who is also the head of his country's mission to the European Union, told the session it was beyond Tuvalu's capability to alone cope with the problem.

"Tuvalu is pursuing two significant initiatives related to climate change, namely the Climate Change Insurance Facility, and the resolution to give protection to people displaced by impacts of climate change.

"This resolution acknowledges the fact that under the 1951 Refugee Convention these persons persons impacted by climate change are not defined as refugees."

Aunese Makoi Simati said Tuvalu noted that current aggregate efforts of Nationally Determined Contributions on reducing greenhouse gas emissions are not sufficient to avert catastrophic increase in global temperature.

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