As your vigils and climate rallies continue to reverberate around the world, the call for a "survival pact" here in Copenhagen is growing louder and louder. Just moments ago, the lead negotiator for the small island nation of Tuvalu (which made news earlier this week for calling for a legally binding, 350 ppm treaty) gave a speech that had delegates from around the world in tears. I’ve pasted a rough transcription of his words — we’ll get a more exact transcription soon.

Please read them and remember, as Ambassador Lima of the Association of Small Island States said yesterday, that together, we too can be a voice for survival: 

It has been said in the media that I am trying to embarrass the country of Denmark. This is not my intention at all…

Madame President, I know that you tried to visit Tuvalu, though you did not make it. Had you visited, I think you would understand our position. Our entire population lives within 2 meters of sea level… I understand that we are waiting for the US senate. It is ironic that we are waiting for one country to decide before the international community can move forward. President Obama was currently in Sweden accepting a noble prize, whether rightly or wrongly. For him to honour his noble prize, he should address the greatest threat to humanity, climate change, and the greatest threat to human security, climate change.

This is not just an issue of Tuvalu… millions of people around the world are affected. This is not just Tuvalu. Over the last few days I’ve received calls from all over the world, offering faith and hope that we can reach a conclusion on this issue. Madame President, this is not a media trip for me, I have refused to take media calls on this issue. As a humble servant of the government of Tuvalu, I have to make a strong appeal to you that we consider this matter properly. I don’t want to cause embarrassment to you or the government.

… I want to have for the leaders an option to consider a legally binding treaty. We’ve had our proposal on the table for 6 months. 6 months, it’s not the last two days of this meeting. I woke this morning, and I was crying, and that’s not easy for a grown man to admit. The fate of my country rests in your hands.


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