Can the energy efforts of a drowning paradise prompt worldwide response?

One of the smallest nations on Earth (3rd least in population and 4th in size, to be exact) has announced plans to become the first nation with zero carbon output and completely powered by renewable energy sources by 2020. Tuvalu is a coral island in the Pacific located mid-way between Hawaii and Australia that has over 2,000 years of history and today is home to approximately 12,000 inhabitants. At its highest elevation the low-lying nation measures just 14.8 feet above sea level (!) and, in the past 10 years, it has been threatened by rising sea levels. As the island has become increasingly aware of the detrimental effects of global warming and climate changes, it has refocused its energy efforts, taking advantage of its natural resources (wind and sun), in hopes of prompting a global movement.

Check out the island’s website. One of the most poignant quotes from the site:”We live in constant fear of the adverse impacts of climate change…The threat is real and serious, and is of no difference to a slow and insidious form of terrorism against us.”

To accomplish the nations lofty goal, estimated to cost $20 million, its government is working with e8 – an association of 10 different energy firms – to find, evaluate, and implement the various phases of the plan. The first step of the plan  was initiated more than 14 months ago and has already been quite successful. By placing solar panels on the largest football stadium on the island, Tuvalu is now able to supply 5% of the electricity needed by its capital city of Funafuti and has eliminated the need to import more than 17,000 tons of resources from neighboring New Zealand.

If you’ve followed the progress of Green Life Smart Life, you are well aware of the challenges to achieve a LEED-H certification, that will one day (hopefully) move forward to achieve net zero… This is one home. How an entire nation will accomplish this will be impressive. Will the rest of the world follow the Tuvaluans lead?

Posted by: Katie

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