Tuvalu Featured in News Story on Taiwan’s UDN TV/吐瓦魯因氣候變遷危機而登上UDN TV焦點新聞 / by Minute Taupo

A three-minute feature story of the plight Tuvalu faces due to climate change was aired in Chinese on the United Daily News Group’s multimedia news site UDN TV on 23rd September, 2014.  The story features an interview with Ambassador Minute Alapati Taupo and was released in honor of the 2014 United Nations Climate Summit held in New York City on the same day and during which Tuvalu’s Prime Minister acted as co-chair.

聯合報系旗下影音服務平台UDN TV,於2014年9月23日焦點報導吐瓦魯受氣候變遷影響而面臨之滅國危機,長度為三分鐘。陶敏德大使曾經於吐瓦魯國大使館接受UDN TV記者訪問,該訪問內容於新聞中播出。由於當天聯合國正於紐約舉辦2014年氣候變化首腦會議,且吐瓦魯總理亦身為該會議主席之一,於是UDN TV新聞製播了該則新聞。

The news story can be found at the following website, and an English translation is provided below.

欲觀看UDN TV新聞報導,請按。英文翻譯如下。

“As far as Taiwan’s diplomatic ally Tuvalu is concerned, because Tuvalu’s landmass and the sea level surrounding the country are situated at almost the same height and the highest point on Tuvalu is only 4 meters above sea level, if sea levels continue to rise, the country will soon disappear into the sea.

Abnormal climate conditions have created havoc throughout the world, and climate change has now become a topic of frequent discussion.

[Speech by U.S. President Barak Obama]

Not only has President Barak Obama discussed the problem of climate change during a college commencement speech, but the Prime Minister of Great Britain, David Cameron, has emphasized that climate change, which is caused by human action, is one of the most severe threats now endangering Great Britain and the entire world.  How dire is the situation?  No one understands the perils of climate change better than the people of Tuvalu. 

[Speech by Tuvalu’s Prime Minister Enele Sopoaga]

Tuvalu is one of Taiwan’s diplomatic allies in the South Pacific.  The overall population of the country is 11,000, and the total area is 26 km2.  Consequently, Tuvalu is a bit smaller than Tucheng District in Taiwan’s New Taipei City.

[Interview with Tuvalu Ambassador Minute Alapati Taupo]

But, even if it is not assaulted and endangered by tremendous waves, Tuvalu is still threatened by the effects of climate change because of rising sea levels.  At the current rate of sea level rise, in only 35 years, sea levels surrounding Tuvalu will increase to the point that no land is left for citizens to live on.

On 9th September, 2014, representatives to Taiwan from Great Britain, Germany, and France sent a letter to the United Daily Newspaper urging Taiwan to proactively adopt carbon reduction measures and join the international community in mitigating the threats caused by climate change.  However, because of Taiwan’s unique political and social environment, plans to use alternative energy to replace coal fuel and reduce carbon emissions have not been adopted.  Furthermore, the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Act proposed by Taiwan’s Environmental Protection Administration in 2006 has not yet been passed by Taiwan’s Legislative Yuan.  Additionally, as the world’s major economies produce tremendous amounts of carbon dioxide, Taiwan’s diplomatic ally in the South Pacific, which demonstrates an extremely low level of industrialization, is threatened by the negative effects of carbon dioxide production.

[Interview with Tuvalu Ambassador Minute Alapati Taupo]

The slogan of the UN climate summit this year is “Island voices, global choices” [Translator’s note: This slogan appears to have been erroneously attributed to the climate summit; it was actually the tagline for the UN Conference on SIDS].  The entire world is watching to see whether the representatives of the various countries represented at the event will reach a consensus on reducing carbon use and develop practical methods to achieve their goals or remain unable to reach agreement and see the summit end in failure.  Nevertheless, regardless of what the results of the summit are, climate change no longer represents far-fetched and empty talk, but is an unprecedented disaster that threatens every corner of the world through the perils of high temperatures, extreme cold, cyclones, floods, and other extreme weather patterns.”