Why the world needs to focus on saving Tuvalu from sinking
Written by
24/11/2021

“I might lose my home. Where will I go? Where will my children go?” says Bernard Kato Ewekia Taomia, the only climate activist from Tuvalu to attend the recently concluded COP26 summit. The independent island nation of Tuvalu is sinking slowly into the Pacific. Two islands of the country have already ‘disappeared’ as per locals […]

“I might lose my home. Where will I go? Where will my children go?” says Bernard Kato Ewekia Taomia, the only climate activist from Tuvalu to attend the recently concluded COP26 summit.

The independent island nation of Tuvalu is sinking slowly into the Pacific. Two islands of the country have already ‘disappeared’ as per locals due to climate change and rising sea levels.

Tuvalu’s plight got global attention when the country’s minister for Justice, Communication & Foreign Affairs Simon Kofe gave a COP26 statement while standing in the ocean.

“In Tuvalu, we are living the realities of climate change and sea level rise.  Climate change and sea level rise are deadly and existential threats to Tuvalu and low-lying countries. We are sinking,” said Mr. Kofe, while standing in knee deep sea water.

Kato’s mission in Glasgow was simple – save Tuvalu. He appealed to global leaders for clear and tangible action, rather than more promises and plans.  

While speaking to Pluc.tv, Kato voiced the devastating, unequal and unheard climate injustices facing his nation.

“I would like to take a leader, just a leader who is causing climate change, I would like to take him by the hand and take him to my country and say look, two of my islands have already disappeared. Look what have you done,” said Kato.

Many big polluters have vowed to intensify their carbon cuts over coming decades with some aiming for net zero carbon emissions by 2050.

But Pacific Island leaders have demanded immediate action, pointing out that the very survival of their low-lying countries is at stake.

The people of Tuvalu and other small island nations are facing a threat to their existence due to the rising levels of sea due to climate change.

But it is not their existence that is being threatened. The lives of their children and the coming generation is also getting affected.

“If my island disappears and I am still on that island, I don’t want my children to grow up in another place,” Kato added.

Let’s start small

The climate activist from Tuvalu urged global leaders to stop the discussions and start taking actions. It is time to save small island nations. Start small and then save the planet.

“It’s not too late for us to save Tuvalu. Because, I believe if we save Tuvalu, we can save the world,” Kato concluded.

Written by
Kato Ewekia is a Tuvaluan activist who was the only youth activist who could make it to COP26. As an activist and advocate, he runs Saving Tuvalu to document the climate crisis in the low-lying Pacific Islands.
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