Australia become the first country to offer refuge to Tuvalu citizens due to the impact from climate change in the country. Tuvalu is an island country in Oceania formerly known as Ellice Island in Polynesian sub-region in the Pacific Ocean. Tuvalu has several low-lying areas in the Pacific and is one of the countries in risk of being impacted due to sea level rise.
The climate change effects are seen in this country as due to sea level rise 11,200 people will be affected. The citizens of Tuvalu have repeatedly called for action to deal with climate change and ts effects on their homeland.
Prime Minister of Australia, Anthony Albanese, in a “ground-breaking” agreement declared that Australia will give refuge to Tuvalu citizens. Prime Minister of Tuvalu called the agreement “a beacon of hope” adding further “not just a milestone but a giant leap forward in our joint mission to ensure regional stability, sustainability and prosperity”.
Australia will grant new visas to 280 citizens of Tuvalu per year. With these visas they can work, study and live in Australia. This agreement marks a first for Australia to offer residency to other country national to stay in Australia due to climate change threat, reported the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.
On 10th November, Albanese told reporters, “It will be regarded as a significant day in which Australia acknowledged that we are part of the Pacific family, and with that comes the responsibility to act.”
He in the agreement Australia will also offer assistance to Tuvalu on climate action.
Australia pledged to fund 16.9 million Australian dollars (10.7 billion dollars) to Tuvalu to adapt to climate change by expanding its main island by 6%. Similar agreements like this have been made by the US and New Zealand with other Pacific countries like the Cook Islands, the Federated States of Micronesia and Palau.This agreement also promised security in case of military aggression from other nations and in return Tuvalu promised Australia that it would not go in defense pacts with any other nations without its approval.