Tuvalu Prime Minister: Relocation Not The Answer To Climate Change

Sopoaga says root causes of sea-level rise must be addressed

By Sikeli Qounadovu

SUVA, Fiji (Fiji Times, July 4, 2017) – Tuvalu's Prime Minister, Enele Sopoaga, strongly believes that relocating to another country is not the answer to climate change.

Responding to the offer by Fiji's Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama, Mr Sopoaga said Fiji was Tuvalu's second home.

At the opening of the Climate Action Pacific Partnership Event at the Grand Pacific Hotel in Suva yesterday, Mr Bainimarama said Fiji would continue to stand with Tuvalu and Kiribati.

"We will continue to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with you. Fiji has offered to give permanent refuge to the people of Kiribati and Tuvalu, our closest neighbours under threat," Mr Bainimarama said.

"And we expect the United States to do the same for the people of the Marshall Islands who share your plight because of their long-standing historical ties."

However, Mr Sopoaga said: "It's a matter of addressing the cause of climate change and global warming and, of course, sea level rise.

"It's much bigger than sending a ship to go and pick up Tuvaluans, it's much bigger than ourselves, so we really have to contextualise it.

"It's not literally what Mr Bainimarama said to go bring the Tuvaluans. It's not as simple as that because you have to be concerned of your protection and sovereignty rights, human rights and therefore you have to be very careful and you have to prioritise this issue," he said.

[PIR editor's note: On July 4, 2017 Fiji Times reported that 'Arrogance is one of the key contributors to the drastic impact of climate change with the Pacific Islands paying the price, says Tuvalu Prime Minister Enele Sopoaga. ... Mr Sopoaga said first-world countries were really not concerned about the most vulnerable in society.']

Fiji Times Online.
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