As climate change engulfs the planet, the Pacific island nation of Tuvalu is facing an existential threat. Situated roughly halfway between Australia and Hawaii, the country hardly exceeds 3 metres above mean sea level, and rising sea levels threaten to submerge it fully by the end of the century. This has led to the island nation taking the novel step of creating a digital copy of itself in the metaverse. In doing so, they will become the first nation to take this measure.
While addressing the UN Climate Change Conference (COP27) through video conference, Tuvalu’s Foreign Minister Simon Kofe said, “As our land disappears, we have no choice but to become the world’s first digital nation. Our land, our ocean, our culture are the most precious assets of our people–and to keep them safe from harm, no matter what happens in the physical world, we’ll move them to the cloud.”
He went on to ring alarm bells, saying that if no action is taken, the island nation will not survive rapid temperature increases, rising sea levels, and drought, before saying, “Piece by piece, we’ll preserve our country, provide solace to our people, and remind our children and our grandchildren what our home once was.”