Maldives president tells world: 'please, don’t be stupid' on climate change

Jeremy Hance
mongabay.com
September 01, 2009



Maldives announces it will be carbon neutral in ten years





"Please, don't be stupid," Mohamed Nasheed told the world regarding the need to act decisively against climate change. To underlie his message, Nasheed announced that his country will become carbon neutral in ten years.

"If the Maldives a small relatively poor country can achieve a big reduction in its greenhouse gas emissions, there can be no excuse from richer nations who claim that going green is too complex, too expensive, or too much bother," he said.

As the world's lowest-lying country, the Maldives may also be the world's most threatened nation from climate change. Made up of twenty-six atolls, it is estimated that a one meter rise in the world's sea levels could swamp the country, forcing the exodus of over 300,000 people.

“If the world can’t save places such as the Maldives today, we won’t be able to save places such as London, New York, and Hong Kong tomorrow. What we need to do together is nothing short of de-carbonizing the entire world economy," Nasheed said.

While the president recognized that moving towards a carbon neutral economy won't be easy, he says that it is feasible.

"Will this be difficult to accomplish? Definitely. Will this painful to do? Probably. Will this be possible to achieve? Yes, absolutely possible. If man can walk on the moon, we can unite to conquer our common carbon enemy. We are willing to play our part."

After announcing his country's pledge to become carbon neutral in a decade, Nasheed turned to addressing the rest of the world—and most specifically the delegates who will meet for the Climate Change summit in Copenhagen in December.

"The world has an opportunity to come together and prevent the looming environmental catastrophe," Nasheed said. "This opportunity as we all know is called Copenhagen, and let’s be very frank about this: Copenhagen can be one of two things. It can be an historic event where the world unites against carbon pollution in a collective spirit of cooperation and collaboration, or Copenhagen can be a suicide pact. The choice is that stark. My message to you, my message to the world is simply this: please don’t be stupid."

Nasheed spoke via video link at the premier of Age of Stupid a film which dramatically depicts what life may be like if the world doesn't tackle climate change quickly. His statement—met with applause and cheering—was called a possible 'game changer' for the Copenhagen talks.





The President of Maldives, Mohamed Nasheed, speaks at the premier of Age of Stupid.







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CITATION:
Jeremy Hance
mongabay.com (September 01, 2009).

Maldives president tells world: 'please, don’t be stupid' on climate change.

http://news.mongabay.com/2009/0901-hance_maldives.html