The Malta Independent 5 March 2024, Tuesday
View E-Paper

No State should lose its rights as a result of sea level rise – Minister Miriam Dalli

Saturday, 2 December 2023, 08:35 Last update: about 3 months ago

No state should lose any of its existing rights as a result of sea level rise, Minister for the Environment, Energy and Enterprise Miriam Dalli said.

She was speaking during the Ministerial Meeting of the Coalition on Addressing Sea-level Rise and its Existential Threats (C-SET), on the opening day of COP28, the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Dubai.

Minister Dalli called upon the international community to recognise the severity of this reality and pledged Malta’s persevering commitment and support to this cause.

“For small island states, like my very own state, the risk of sea level rise is real. The IPPC’s special report on the Ocean and Cryosphere in a Changing Climate speaks loud and clear about the alarming prospect of accelerating rise in sea levels over recent years. It even indicates a possible sea level rise of two metres over this century. Being the 10th smallest state in the world and an archipelago means that we are particularly sensitive to this reality,” the Minister said.

“Sea level rise can lead to partial or complete submersion of territories, particularly for small island nations. The displacement of people will inevitably happen. For such islands, it will be even more difficult to maintain a permanent population and a defined territory. The loss of land can impact a state’s ability to exercise sovereignty over its territory, including its maritime jurisdictional zones.”

The Minister also reminded that Malta has been urging the international community to tackle the impacts of sea level rise on small island states as far back as 1988, when it presented its initiative on climate change at the 43rd session of the UN General Assembly. Thirty-five years later, it continues to press on this important global threat. This year, as an elected member on the UN Security Council, it highlighted the climate-oceans-security nexus with a signature event on the impacts of sea level rise on international peace and security.

After launching the Island for Islands Initiative at COP26 to support capacity building in small island developing states, Malta will continue to defend the existing rights of these countries and other vulnerable coastal states, which will continue to be threatened if sea level rise happens. 

  • don't miss