Two of the world's most vulnerable low-lying island nations located in Pacific, Tuvalu and Kiribati, have declared that for them it is not an option to accept failure at the upcoming climate talks in Paris. For the Pacific island nations, the alarming rising sea levels started to threaten their very existence.
According to officials from the two Pacific island nations, they have been forced to consider extreme options as buying land abroad to prepare their people to migrate as well as growing food abroad since the seas slowly claim their homelands.
Last week, representatives of Pacific island nations met in the western Indian state of Rajastan, in Jaipur. They sent a clear message to the world leaders. A meeting in Paris is scheduled in December for talks about climate change. The Pacific island nations officials declared that in order to combat the effects of climate change, the meeting in Paris must deliver the expectations of a historic deal.
According to Tuvalu Prime Minister Enele Sopoaga, "failure is not a fallback position, it is not an option". The PM added in the interview for AFP that the people of the island nations in the Pacific may be able to purchase land in other places such as New Zealand and Australia. It is also mentioned that they may be able to run away, but that, by no means, could stop climate change. With these, there is no assurance that people of Tuvalu would be safe in their new lands for long.
Sopoaga added that climate change has now become the 'enemy number one for Tuvalu'. The nine coral atolls are home to around 11,000 residents. Kiribati is also considering building some man-made islands to relocate its entire population or move them to the purchased lands in Australia and New Zealand.
According to scientists, it is possible that Tuvalu and Kiribati will disappear under sea levels in the coming decades since they are now little more than a meter (three feet) above sea level. In both island nations, people are dealing with a range of problems linked to climate change, including salination of ground water and more intense storms like the one that devastated Vanuatu earlier this year.