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Tuvalu prime minister begs for help to stop his country disappearing off the face of the Earth

The country's prime minister is in Europe this week to call for action ahead of a climate change summit in December

Caroline Mortimer
Wednesday 08 July 2015 10:06 BST
Tuvalu is at risk from climate change
Tuvalu is at risk from climate change (Stefan Lins)

The prime minister of the world’s fourth smallest nation has appealed for help from European leaders to stop it disappearing from the face of the Earth.

Enele Spoaga arrived in Brussels on Monday to call on EU leaders for support ahead of the next UN climate change summit in Paris in December.

The group of islands, home to just 10,000 people, is under direct threat by rising sea levels due to climate change as it is no more than 4m above sea level at its highest level.

He called on Europe to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to keep global warming down to 1.5C, which scientists say is a safer limit than the current goal of 2C, the Brussels Times reports.

He said: “We need to save Tuvalu to save the world.

“If this island disappears under water, it is not the end of climate change. And I ask you what future do we hold? We need to collaborate as one human face to save human kind.

“We are told that even 2 degrees global warming is too dangerous as it would mean that Tuvalu would disappear under the water. Yes we can move the Tuvalu inhabitants to other peoples’ lands but it will not stop climate change.”

Tuvalu is one of several island chains in the Pacific which are vulnerable to rising sea levels.

In 2009, the president of Maldives staged an underwater meeting of his cabinet to high the threat countries like his face from climate change.

Six metres below the surface, the ministers ratified a treaty calling on other countries to cut their greenhouse emissions.

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