# Tags

Island Nations On The Brink: Rising Seas Swallow Homes, Livelihoods As UN Reports Expose Climate Injustice

With sea levels rising twice as fast as predicted, small island nations grapple with existential threats while developed nations fall short on emission cuts and financial aid


A tidal wave of bad news is engulfing the world’s island nations, as rising sea levels, fueled by accelerating climate change, threaten to erase their homes, cultures and very existence. New reports from the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO), the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) and the European Climate Foundation (ECF) paint a  picture of escalating climate injustice, with island nations bearing the brunt of a crisis largely caused by developed nations.


Sea Level Surge Outpaces Predictions

The WMO’s “State of the Global Climate 2023” report reveals that sea levels are rising at an alarming rate, ‘twice as fast’ as initially predicted. This translates to an existential threat for low-lying island nations like the Maldives, Tuvalu and Kiribati, where rising tides are already inundating coastal communities, displacing residents and contaminating freshwater sources.

“Our homes are disappearing,” declared Ioane Teitiota, President of Kiribati, at the recent COP28 climate summit. “The land we’ve lived on for generations is being swallowed by the sea. We are not asking for sympathy, we are asking for action,” he added.


Adaptation Gap Widens, Finance Dries Up

The UNEP’s “Adaptation Gap Report 2023” exposes a widening chasm between the adaptation needs of vulnerable nations and the international support they receive. While some island nations have implemented innovative adaptation measures, like raising villages on stilts or developing drought-resistant crops, their efforts are hampered by a lack of financial resources.

“Developed nations have promised billions in climate finance, but the reality on the ground tells a different story,” said Mitzi Jonathon, Minister of Environment for the Marshall Islands at a UN Climate talk . “We need concrete action, not empty promises. Our future and the future of our islands, hangs in the balance.”


Fossil Fuel Dependence Locks in Future Disasters

The ECF’s “Production Gap Report 2023” reveals a shocking disconnect between climate goals and energy policies. Despite pledges to limit global warming to 1.5°C, governments’ planned fossil fuel production in 2030 is ‘double’ what is needed. This continued reliance on fossil fuels locks in future emissions, condemning island nations to further sea level rise and extreme weather events.

“The inaction of developed nations is pushing island nations to the brink,” said Laurence Tubiana, CEO of the ECF at a press conference. “We need a rapid shift away from fossil fuels and towards renewable energy. The time for excuses is over, the time for action is now.”

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *