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SUNHAK PEACE PRIZE

Sunhak Peace Prize News

Former president of Kiribati tells SF to step up fight as climate chan…

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Write SHPP Date19-07-29 11:46 Hit454

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It was shortly after taking office in 2003 that he realized the peril his country was in, Tong said in an interview with The Chronicle at the Fairmont hotel in San Francisco.

 

“The responsibility of my country fell squarely on my shoulders,” Tong said. “When the science started coming in, it was a matter of urgency.”

 

He’s now sending a statement to CEOs in the Bay Area, reminding them that companies can either be “complicit or helpful” in stopping the further warming of the planet.

 

Since leaving office in 2016, he has spent his time speaking to leaders around the world on the global efforts needed to save countries like his own.

 

“This is a battle we’re in —a huge, unprecedented battle,” Tong said. “I wonder if these companies can use their resources to change our world for the better.”

 

When he visits cities like San Francisco, Tong said he sees potential to counteract the current administration’s policies.

 

“Your federal government isn’t helping, but that’s when cities like San Francisco and other states in your country step in,” Tong said.

 

In terms of specific changes he wants to see happen, Tong refers to the need for a rapid global response.

 

“Climate change is only now becoming known as a fight for the survival of humanity,” Tong said. “When I come here to speak, I also come here to inspire people to act quickly.”


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