An Aussie who represents Tuvalu—one of the world’s smallest countries with a population of about ten thousand—Ian Fry is a veteran advocate of poor and vulnerable countries in UNFCCC negotiations. He is one of the few people who leads another country’s delegation, and his official title is Ambassador for Climate Change and Environment for Tuvalu, and has worked for the Tuvalu government in various capacities for the last 16 years.
He is relentless in his defence of small island positions, and a passionate orator who made headlines in Copenhagen in 2009 when he said, with a trembling voice: “I woke this morning, and I was crying, and that’s not easy for a grown man to admit. The fate of my country rests in your hands.”
Fry is an unofficial advisor to the whole group of least developed and small islands countries, and as such benefits from strong support of influential civil society groups at the negotiations. He was among those who fought until the final hours in Warsaw (2013) and Lima (2014) advocating loss and damage issues.