WELLINGTON, New Zealand – The Marshall Islands president says the Pacific nation's former climate ambassador and a leading voice behind the Paris Agreement has died.
Tony de Brum saw the effects of rising seas firsthand from his home in the low-lying Marshall Islands and helped persuade countries to sign the landmark Paris accord to fight climate change. He was also the nation's former foreign minister.
After witnessing nuclear testing in the islands while growing up, de Brum also fought against nuclear weapons and for his nation's independence.
De Brum died Tuesday in the capital Majuro surrounded by family. He was 72.
Marshall Islands President Hilda Heine described de Brum as a "national hero" whose legacy extended far beyond the islands. She said the existence of the Paris agreement owed a lot to de Brum.