I am a small island girl with big dreams.
“Our home is one of the most vulnerable countries to climate change. We have seen waters rising well above sea walls and washing into people’s homes. They have crashed into the land, crippling trees, taking with them parts of the earth, and causing land erosion. The Marshall Islands is trying to fight to limit global warming to 1.5°C.
The Paris Agreement is for those of us whose identity, whose culture, whose ancestors, whose whole being, is bound to their land. The same story will play out everywhere in the world. If this is a story about our islands, it is a story for the whole world. Sometimes when you want to make a change then it is necessary to turn the world upside down, because it is not for the better, but it is simply for the best. This Agreement should be the turning point in our story, a turning point for all of us.
We will continue fighting for 1.5 degrees. We will continue raising awareness, we will continue doing what we can in order to preserve our islands from unjust treatment. What we want is global justice.”
– Selina Leem, the youngest delegate at COP21 in Paris and a speaker at the 2016 Skoll World Forum opening plenary. Independent Diplomat has advised the Marshall Islands on the climate negotiations for 7 years, working closely with them in the build-up to Paris and now looking to the future of climate action.
Why Support Independent Diplomat?
Climate change is a problem that the whole world must unite to address before it’s too late. But countries like the low-lying Marshall Islands are particularly vulnerable and have therefore been compelled to take the most urgent action to ensure their survival.
For the past seven years Independent Diplomat has advised the Republic of the Marshall Islands – a tiny island nation existentially threatened by rising sea levels – on its climate diplomacy. Through scores of international conferences, diplomatic meetings and negotiations, ID has helped position the Marshall Islands as a leader in the UN climate negotiations and in the broader fight against global warming. For example, in 2015 ID supported RMI’s then-foreign minister Tony de Brum to establish the “High Ambition Coalition” of progressive countries which played a crucial role in delivering the strongest possible treaty in Paris, including the goal to limit warming to below 1.5°C and achieve net zero emissions by the middle of the century, plus a ratchet mechanism that compels countries to update their emissions targets every 5 years.
ID is now working with the Marshall Islands and the High Ambition Coalition to help ensure that the Paris Agreement enters into force as soon as possible, and that the world can continue to quickly ramp up its ambition before it is too late. With ID’s support, the High Ambition Coalition – led by the Marshall Islands – will remain at the forefront of this global fight against climate change.
Your contribution through this Crowdrise Challenge will help continue to make ID’s work possible.
- Your support helps make it possible for the Marshall Islands to continue to lead the High Ambition Coalition beyond Paris.
- Our ability to continue to quickly ramp up political ambition in the short term will not only decide the future of many small island nations like the Marshall Islands, but it will ultimately affect all of us.
- So please join this effort today, and help us find a global solution to a global problem.
Click here to read a New York Times multimedia profile of the Marshall Islands and its fight against climate change.
Click here to read a Rolling Stone profile of how the Paris climate deal came together and where the world must go from here. The article includes details about the role of the Marshall Islands and quotes from Independent Diplomat, which was active behind the scenes every step of the way.
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