Faced with rising sea levels, Pacific state looks to become world’s first floating nation — on vast “lily-pads”

The islands now called Kiribati have been inhabited since 3000 BC, but if the seas continue to rise they could be gone in as little as a century.

For a decade, Anote Tong the president has been warning the 100,000 inhabitants of the tiny Pacific state that they may not have much longer to cling to their 32 atolls. Now, he can talk about a potential solution.

Improbable though it may sound, with the help of a pioneering Japanese company and a few hundred billion dollars, Mr. Tong is considering the creation of the world’s first floating nation.

Shimizu Corp., a Tokyo-based construction company, is devising plans for a city that floats on vast “lily-pads” on the surface of the Pacific, although the designs look like something that might be devised for another planet in the distant future. (Illustration: Shimizu Corp)

Visionary, Dubai 2.0, or total pipe dream?

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