tirsdag 9. november 2021

Anote Tong: Australia’s commitment to coal is putting my country of Kiribati in danger

When I came into office as president of Kiribati in 2003, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) had released its third assessment report and, like my predecessors, I believed the report’s projected rise in sea levels posed a real threat to the survival for those of us on the frontline. Accordingly, in my first address at the UN General Assembly in 2004 I drew attention to the dangers posed by climate change, especially to small island nations like Kiribati and other Pacific island countries.

The fact that no other leader made any reference to it in their statement worried me and I wondered whether I might be making a fool of myself, especially when the focus of international attention at the time was on more real and present threats like terrorism. Thankfully by the next assembly, in 2005, other Pacific island leaders had joined the call for action. This has gathered great momentum in the years since.