Tony de Brum: my country is safer after Paris climate deal

Veteran climate ambassador hails Paris climate deal as leading politicians, diplomats and campaigners gather for anniversary in French capital

Marshall Islands minister Tony de Brum walks into the final session of talks with US envoy Todd Stern, both wearing a coconut leaf (Photo by IISD/ENB | Kiara Worth)


Yokwe and greetings from the Marshall Islands.

I am very sad I am unable to be with you all today to celebrate the special moment in history we all shared exactly one year ago today.

I will never forget leading the High Ambition Coalition into that final plenary; or when Laurent brought down the gavel; or the feeling I had when handing over to a young Selina Leem to make the closing statement on behalf of the Marshall Islands.

At the end of that day I said that my country felt a little bit safer as a result of the historic agreement we had forged in Paris. And I feel the same way today.

No matter how many more dangerous impacts are to come, or how uncertain international politics may seem at times, it is those of you in this room that helped give my country a renewed sense of hope and a pathway to survival. And I will never forget that.

Paris was a team effort, and so must be our fight for the future. If we don’t each play our part, and do so with the same spirit of solidarity, determination and urgency that we did in Paris, then our ability to win this fight will quickly fade. Now, more than ever, we need our friends to realize this and seize the opportunities that come with it.

On behalf of a grateful nation, I therefore want to thank you again for all that you did to secure the Paris Agreement and ask you to be relentless in your continued fight to now make it a reality. Paris was just the start, but it is what we do now that will really matter.

I am counting on you. My family is counting on you. And my country is counting on you.

Kommol tata and thank you very much.

Climate Ambassador Tony de Brum

Read more on: UN climate talks |