Tuvalu, located in the Pacific Ocean, is classified by the United Nations Development Programme as "extremely vulnerable" to the effects of climate change, given the IPCC report that global average sea levels could now rise by up to 1.1m by 2100, up 10 cm on previous estimates.
A glimpse into the lives of Tuvaluans was offered through an interesting video by Yes Theory, a renowned YouTube channel.
Its 11,646 residents are on their way to become the world's first climate-change refugees. Yet, moving people out of the island will not halt the predicted global temperature rise of 3.2 degrees Celsius over pre-industrial levels, as reported by the UN Environment Programme. Instead, putting people in the middle of industrialised countries will simply boost their consumption and increase greenhouse gas emissions.
By 2100, Kiribati also faces the reality of being wiped from the map. The Maldives is yet another great economy whose tourism sector is being threatened by the increased likelihood of violent storms, damage to coral reefs, and beach erosion. If the trend continues, the island will just be known as a 'vanishing paradise' in 30 years. As a result of sea-level rise, Marshall Islands risk losing cultural and historical traditions if the Marshallese are forced to adapt to a new, totally different area, potentially in a faraway locale.
As said by a Tuvaluan inhabitant: "I am from a small country. All I want is for the bigger countries to respect us, and think of our lives". We can promote economic growth, eradicate extreme poverty, and improve people’s health and well-being by taking climate action. It is doable. We need all countries and all sectors of society to act now—it is in the interests of everyone.
The more we delay, the more we pay.