"Humankind's insatiable quest for economic and technological progress has most regrettably now transcended into a conflict between those who profit from the contributing factors causing climate change and those who will pay the ultimate price. In spite of the very clear signals indicating our planet's systems failure and the solid science predicting it, regrettably those who profit from it possess and use the power to continue to undermine the remedies needed. Consequently the future of our people in the Pacific and indeed the rest of humanity is in serious jeopardy."
Former President of the Republic of Kiribati
Anote Tong is a former President of the Republic of Kiribati, serving three terms from 2003 to 2016. During his terms in office, he was responsible for drawing international attention to the existential threat faced by people in countries affected by climate change. He continues to speak at conferences and institutions worldwide. He was responsible for declaring what was then the largest marine protected area, which was later listed by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. For his advocacy work on climate change and ocean conservation, Anote Tong has been nominated twice for the Nobel Peace Prize, and was awarded with various outstanding prices. He received his B.Sc. from the University of Canterbury, his Master’s in Economics from the London School of Economics, as well as an Honorary Doctorate in Engineering from The National Pukyong University, and an Honorary Doctorate in Law from the University of the South Pacific in Fiji.