Tuvalu, a small nation in the Pacific Ocean, has announced it plans to become the “first digital nation”. This comes as it prepares to be submerged by rising sea levels due to climate change.
Foreign Affairs Minister Simon Kofe said its Government had “no choice” but to digitise the nation, as a way to “remind our children and grandchildren what our home once was”.
“The world’s inaction has led our Pacific region to take greater action… but our action alone cannot stop the current trajectory of climate change,” Kofe said in a virtual speech at the UN’s COP27 climate conference.
“Islands like this one won’t survive rapid temperature increases, rising sea levels, and drought. So we’ll recreate them virtually. Piece by piece, we’ll preserve our country.”
Last year Kofe addressed the climate conference from knee-deep water, to display the nation’s vulnerability to climate change.
Kofe said that by recreating Tuvalu digitally, the country was preparing for the worst-case scenario. “Only concerted global effort can ensure that Tuvalu doesn’t move permanently online, and disappear forever from the physical plane.”
There’s some reporting they plan to be part of the metaverse, which is a fully digital world that exists beyond the physical world but still mimics aspects of human life.
This would give people a place to interact with Tuvalu, if the nation becomes uninhabitable due to climate change.