Indepth (Id) talks to long time climate change negotiator for the Tuvalu Government, Dr Ian Fry as the world meets in Katowice, Poland this month to finalise the rule book of the Paris Climate Change Agreement. Dr Fry specially shared his views on the recent report of the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change about 1.5 degrees.
Id: What was your reaction when you read through the latest report of the IPCC on the impacts of global warming of 1.5 deg C above pre-industrial levels?
IF: The report confirmed the concerns we always had about climate change, as we are already experiencing the impacts of climate change, particularly through more severe cyclones and weather events. A recent UN report states that the economic cost of climate-related disasters hit US$2.25 trillion over the last two decades, an increase of more than 250 per cent compared to the previous 20 years. It is patently obvious that we are suffering the impacts of climate change now. Adding another 0.5 deg C temperature will make things a whole lot worse.
(Read more at: https://phys.org/news/2018-10-climate-linked-disasters-soars.html#jCp)
Id: Was there anything new you read in the report or it was like, “Tuvalu told you so”?
IF: While we were aware of concerns, the details of the scientific research was far more detailed than what we knew ourselves. Concerns about the Artic and biodiversity loss are some of the details that have been highlighted in the report.
Id: From the report, what will Tuvalu look like, both on land and at sea, if global warming is kept at 1.5 deg C or less?
IF: Tuvalu is likely to look much different to what it is today. It depends on what course of action we take to address the likely impacts. Critically we are going to have to build up our coastal defences against storm surges. This means building various forms of coastal protection such as sea walls. We are likely to have to find ways of lifting the elevation of large parts of the country so that....
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