Tony De Brum the "Hero" of Paris climate agreement has passed away


Former Marshall Islands foreign minister Tony De Brum, who played a key role in securing the Paris climate pact has passed away aged 72.

At countless UN climate meetings, Mr De Brum was a passionate champion of the rights of small island states.
He was instrumental in securing the "high ambition coalition" of rich and poor countries that was pivotal to a deal in the French capital.

Mr De Brum died at his home in Majuro, the capital of the Marshall Islands.
Born near the end of WWII, Mr De Brum grew up in an era when the tiny Pacific state was being used to host a number of US nuclear bomb tests.

However it was the threat of rising seas and a changing climate became the key issues of his time as a Marshall Islands foreign minister.

In the Paris climate negotiations, his warm, personal and relaxed style was very much in contrast to the stiffer, greyer faces of some teams.

He used his charm to build strong personal relationships with many of the political leaders from rich and poor countries alike.
This helped create the "coalition of high ambition," a group that ultimately involved around 100 nations, including the US, the EU, African, Caribbean and island states.
This alliance of rich and poor proved critical in pushing the deal through.

The biggest win from Mr De Brum's perspective, was that the Paris agreement committed to the goal of keeping global temperature increases close to 1.5C - "1.5 to stay alive," was a phrase often used by Mr De Brum.


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