Tuvalu. According to countryaah, Taiwan has promised to help Tuvalu cope with the consequences of rising sea levels. Tuvalu, which has just over 12,000 residents, is only an average of two meters above sea level. According to some studies, the islands can disappear into the sea in just 30-40 years. Tuvalu belongs to the minority of the world’s countries that recognize Taiwan, and it was when Tuvalu’s Prime Minister Apisai Ielemia visited Taiwan in February that the promise came. Taiwan’s president Ma Ying-jeou said he was prepared to do anything to save Tuvalu’s nine atolls. Among other things, a specialized infrastructure and relocation of residents between the islands could be relevant, he said. Many residents have already moved from isolated islands to the main island of Funafuti. In addition, about 100 Tuvaluans have settled on the autonomous island of Niue Island.
Tuvalu is investing in all electricity consumed by the country to be generated from renewable sources by 2020. The government wants to switch from imported diesel to wind and solar energy to generate electricity and estimates that the conversion would cost about US $ 20 million. Solar panels have already been installed at the country’s largest football stadium in the capital Fongafale. The Minister of Community Service, Kausea Natano, said in July that Tuvalu wants to set a good example when it comes to reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Some other countries, including Norway and New Zealand, have also pledged to completely eliminate carbon dioxide emissions.
At the end of November, the country’s government signed an agreement with the UN development program UNDP on a four-year project to support Tuvalu in its efforts to cope with the climate threat and rising sea levels. The project is intended to help protect the country’s natural resources and increase the residents’ awareness of climate change.
Ahead of the climate summit in Copenhagen in December, Tuvalu, along with ten other Pacific island nations, demanded that the UN adopt a legally binding agreement to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The group’s spokesman, Palau’s UN ambassador Stuart Beck, told the UN General Assembly in November that only a binding climate agreement can save low-lying countries such as Tuvalu, the Marshall Islands and Kiribati. The disappointment was therefore great among the Pacific countries when it became clear that the climate summit did not lead to a binding UN document signed by all countries.