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Australia is offering the island nation of Tuvalu a lifeline to help residents escape the rising seas and increased storms that climate change is bringing.

At a meeting of Pacific leaders in the Cook Islands, Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese announced a plan that will initially allow up to 280 Tuvaluans to come to Australia each year. Tuvalu has a population of 11,000, and its low-lying atolls make it particularly vulnerable to global warming.

“We believe the people of Tuvalu deserve the choice to live, study and work elsewhere, as climate change impacts worsen,” Albanese said. “Australia has committed to provide a special pathway for citizens of Tuvalu to come to Australia, with access to Australian services that will enable human mobility with dignity.”