Tony de Brum | Carbon Brief Staff
Carbon Brief's Sophie Yeo asks Tony de Brum, the
foreign minister of the Marshall Islands, about fighting for action
on climate change at the IMO meeting this week and the future of
the Pacific islands.
Tony de Brum is the foreign minister of the Marshall
Islands, a small nation of coral atolls in the Pacific Ocean and
one of the most vulnerable countries to sea level rise. He
previously served as Minister-in-Assistance to the President, and
has led calls at the UN for stronger action on climate change.
On reluctance to act on climate
change: "Some of these nations are confused as to whether
they're developing countries or developed countries, or some that
want to be both, to take advantage of the benefits of being one or
the other in one package."
On the small island states
negotiating bloc: "It is a platform that allows for the
smallest of the vulnerable states to have as loud a voice as
On the small island
states' negotiating strategy: "In terms of keeping the islands
together and promoting their interests as a unit, it has worked.
But have the outcomes of that effort been as encouraging? No. But
neither has any other sector in the climate change debate and
On Paris: "What we really need to
do is focus on what we want to come out of Paris and make sure that
it is not a suicide note."
On migration: "The polluting
states must not see the availability of destinations for displaced
people as an excuse to continue their behaviour as usual."
On the unstoppable
collapse of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet: "It is something that
concerns the Marshall Islands now."
On US politics: "The
Republicans might have different reasons for loving the Marshalls
than the Democrats do, but the relationship is still very
On loss and damage: "I
think it's going to be one of the most difficult things to come
away with come Paris."
On the Green Climate
Fund: "I don't want to see bureaucratic layers of NGOs and
other organisations establish themselves between the source of the
fund and the need."