Climate change is one of the most existential security risks currently threatening Tuvalu. High greenhouse-gas emissions, increased temperatures, rising sea levels, and extreme changes in weather patterns have all impacted the Tuvaluan people and ecosystem. Frequent losses and damages resulting from climate change and disaster are but some of the issues that Tuvalu encounters and continues to seek appropriate measures to address. Tuvalu’s conduct of foreign affairs cannot be considered successful unless it effectively recognises, publicises, and addresses the nation’s complex security issues regarding climate change. Internationally, action on climate change is driven by the ideas of common but differentiated responsibilities and the precautionary principle, and, in the Pacific region, SIDS advocate against climate change using the concept of avoiding action that negatively impacts one’s neighbours (tuakoi). From the perspective of Tuvaluan values, action on climate change connects to the concept of shared ownership and responsibilities (kaitasi) given that climate change is a shared global problem that must be overcome through joint action.
Promote Climate Change as an Existential Threat
The Government of Tuvalu upholds Tuvalu’s current position on climate change, especially advocating for climate-change governance; engaging in efforts to minimise the impacts of climate change; and securing financing for loss and damage, adaptation and mitigation programs, and projects to build resilience. Tuvalu strongly maintains in all international venues the message that climate change is the single greatest existential threat Tuvalu faces, especially from a security standpoint. Furthermore, Tuvalu insists that its statehood must be recognised and respected regardless of whether its population is displaced or it loses land territory due to climate change.
Promote Climate Change as a Shared Global Problem
Tuvalu promotes culturally appropriate ideas such as shared ownership and responsibility when discussing climate change. Climate change is a problem that impacts global populations; hence, global efforts are essential to addressing this security issue. It is recognised that the UNFCCC and Paris Agreement have encouraged global action to respond to climate change. Consequently, when engaging with other parties, especially major polluters, Tuvalu emphasises that polluter countries must play a major role in resolving the state of today’s global environment and highlights the common but differentiated responsibilities of all parties in overcoming climate change.
Act as an International Climate-Change Leader
Tuvalu will also maintain and expand its role as an international climate-change leader, especially in cooperation with SIDS, AOSIS, LDCs, and the OACPS bloc. Pacific nations consistently act as standard-bearers for climate-change policy and action in the international arena. Maintaining a strong, determined, and dynamic position on climate change and strengthening partnerships with nations and organisations who combat climate change will raise Tuvalu’s international profile while fostering positive progress on the climate crisis.
Convey a Clear Stance on Relocation, Migration, and Displacement
Tuvalu stands against relocation as a solution to the climate crisis because Tuvalu is a sovereign country, and its population has the right to live, develop, and prosper on its own land. Relocating populations affected by climate change provides a “quick fix” while failing to address the root causes of the climate crisis. At the same time, Tuvalu seeks to realistically address land-loss and land-degradation issues and how they affect the security of the nation. Tuvalu further supports all people who have been displaced by or have migrated because of climate change. Human mobility has been practiced in various forms in the Pacific region, and Tuvalu respects the decisions of Pacific nations that may choose relocation as an option.
Prevent Against and Build Back Better from Climate-Related Disasters
Given that Tuvalu’s high vulnerability to climate change and climate-related disasters can devastate local economies and infrastructure, the Government promotes disaster risk reduction, climate-proofing infrastructure and communications, and accessing funding to prevent and mitigate disaster in international and regional forums. Tuvalu also promotes and advocates for foreign investment to support the Tuvalu Survival Fund, a national mechanism that finances climate-change programs and responds promptly to disasters.