Tuvalu is an 11,900-person island nation in the Pacific Ocean, and due to rising sea levels, it may soon be completely submerged under water. A representative of Tuvalu stated in a digital address to COP7’s leaders that the nation intends to upload itself to the metaverse as a last resort for preservation.
Simon Kofe, minister of justice, communication, and international affairs for Tuvalu, is quoted as saying that once the country is wiped off the map due to sea level rise, the metaverse would reproduce its islands and retain its culture and customs, according to IFLScience.
“Tuvalu could be the first country in the world to exist solely in cyberspace, but if global warming continues unabated, it won’t be the last,” the country representative warns world leaders gathered at COP27.
The address makes the point that, should the “worst case scenario” occur, maintaining the nation-state online might be the only way to maintain Tuvalu’s sense of nationhood.
If the situation on the island compels them to leave, the metaverse will become the new sovereign state of the Tuvaluans. Leaders are currently faced with this sobering reality. Scientists’ predictions that cities could eventually float away due to worsening climate change seem to have come true.
“Our land, our ocean, and our culture are the most precious assets of our people, and to keep them safe from harm, no matter what happens in the physical world, we will move them to the cloud,” Simon Kofe said in the COP27 climate summit address while standing knee-deep in the sea.
In order to maintain Tuvalu’s marine boundaries and its status as a state even if the islands are submerged, the government has reportedly started making steps, according to Reuters.
Vulnerable Populations and Climate Change
Tuvalu foresees a gloomy future as global emissions aggravate the effects of climate change. According to data from the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), human-caused worldwide emissions of greenhouse gases rose by 43% between 1990 and 2015. Additionally, the warming effect brought on by carbon dioxide alone increased by 36%.
How long will the Pacific Ocean engulf Tuvalu before it is completely submerged? According to an article in The Guardian, scientists believe Tuvalu may become uninhabitable within the next 50 to 100 years. It might be sooner, according to those in Tuvalu who advocate for climate change awareness.