Vale Tony de Brum

Marshall Islands climate ambassador Tony de Brum died aged 72 on Tuesday at his home in Majuro. Here’s a statement from Climate Analytics CEO Bill Hare, who had the honour to work with him in the UN climate negotiation process.

Date2017, August 23
Tony de Brum walks into the plenary in Paris, with US Climate Envoy Todd Stern, as part of the High Ambition Coalition that helped bring about a strong Paris Agreement. ©ENB/IISD
 

It is with great sadness that we bid farewell to Tony de Brum from the Marshall Islands, whose work on climate change on behalf of small island states was second to none. He was a central, indeed an historic figure, in securing the high level of ambition in the Paris Agreement.

Tony was a great man who as a young boy witnessed a nuclear bomb test over the Bikini Atoll, became a major figure in the independence of his nation, and who saw clearly and early the existential challenge that climate change and sea level rise posed to his country and to his region.

As Foreign Minister, he ensured that his country punched far above its weight on climate change and was in a central position in the Paris Agreement negotiations.

And for those that had the honour to know Tony and to work with him over the years, and most recently in the high pressure, high stakes environment of the Paris Agreement negotiations, we knew him as a man of unflappable generosity and humour, with great political wisdom and sense of humanity, who liked nothing better at the end of hard day than to share a meal, conversation and a good bottle of wine with his friends.

Vale Tony de Brum, a real hero of the Paris Agreement and of his Pacific island region. Our heartfelt condolences go to Tony de Brum’s family and friends.