Climate impacts on Tuvalu and hopes for climate change negotiations

ANU Pacific Institute Event


Rt Hon Enele Sosene Sopoaga, Prime Minister of Tuvalu


RN Robertson Lecture Theatre 46E Sullivans Creek Road Acton, ACT 2601


Monday, 3 December, 2018 - 18:00 to 19:00

The Prime Minister of Tuvalu, Rt Hon Enele Sosene Sopoaga, will discuss the impacts of climate change on Tuvalu, noting the implications of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5° C.

The Prime Minister is a firm believer in the survival of Tuvalu despite growing climate impacts and he will describe some of the measures that Tuvalu is taking to protect itself against these impacts.

There have been recent media reports from well-known sources claiming that Tuvalu is not sinking. Some of these commentaries have been picked up by elements in the Australian parliament. Prime Minister Sopoaga will respond to these claims.

He will highlight the fact that climate change is a global security issue, particularly associated with people displaced by the impacts of climate change. He will describe how he believes that the UN Security Council should respond to this security challenge and why Tuvalu has proposed a UN General Assembly resolution to commence negotiations of a legal agreement to give protection to people displaced by climate change.

He will outline his expectations for the upcoming United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Council of the Parties (COP) in Katowice, Poland. Of importance to Tuvalu is to guarantee that the Paris Agreement “rule book” delivers a strong outcome that puts us on track to a 1.5° C pathway.

About the Speaker

The Rt Hon Enele Sosene Sopoaga is the current Prime Minister of Tuvalu, a position he has held since 2013. He has a Master of Arts from Sussex University and a Certificate of Diplomacy from Oxford. He has held the positions of Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs, the Environment and Labour. He has served as the Tuvaluan Ambassador to United Nations and during that time chaired the Alliance of Small Island States in climate change negotiations.

He has been a very active participant in climate change negotiations for over 20 years. He was there when the Kyoto Protocol was signed and there when the Paris Agreement was signed. Notably in Paris he was the spokesperson for the Pacific Small Island Developing States on setting a goal of 1.5° C. This was despite strong pressure from the French President to settle for a 2° C goal.

He was instrumental in brokering a deal in Paris with Senator John Kerry on Loss and Damage which in effect allowed for a separate chapter on this issue in the Paris Agreement. He was the only Pacific leader to stay the whole two weeks in Paris to ensure that the Paris Agreement guaranteed a future for his country. Earlier this year he hosted the Polynesian Leaders Group and will be hosting the Pacific Island Leaders Forum in 2019.






Juliet Meyer
02 6125 6611

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