31st December 2021
Whilst we are still in 2021 some countries in the global south will already be in 2022.
One of the first is Kiribati a nation in the Pacific Ocean comprising 33 islands, and rising, at present, not much more than 2m above sea level. As the climate crisis and rising sea levels escalates so the future of life here diminishes – the islands may be largely uninhabitable by 2030. The government of Kiribati has bought land in Fiji to safe guard some future for the islanders. New Zealand permits 75 islanders a year to settle there. But what the people really want is financial support for desalination plants to ensure fresh water, flood resistant seeds and plants, early storm warning systems, housing that can withstand periodic inundation, and support to preserve and maintain their special culture and language. Kiribati has made a negligible contribution to the climate crisis but stands to be its first victim. Reparations are needed now from those nations that have both created and benefitted from the fossil fuelled climate crisis. One agency that is giving support is the United Nations Pacific Office.