Maldives Government issues grim warning in the lead up to COP26

Maldives’ environment minister has reportedly issue a grim warning that states that the failure to control global warming and climate change could spell out as a ‘death sentence’ to small island countries such as the Maldives, endangering cultures and livelihoods.

According to scientists, almost all nations signed the 2015 Paris climate agreement, which aims to keep global warming to 2 degrees Celsius or 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit beyond pre-industrial revolution temperatures, and no more than 1.5 degrees Celsius or 2.7 degrees Fahrenheit ideally. However, the earth has already warmed by roughly 1.1 degrees Celsius or 2 degrees Fahrenheit since then.

As per reports, it is anticipated that the world is likely to surpass the 1.5 C rise in the 2030s, far sooner than expected.

Aminath Shauna, the minister for environment, climate change, and technology for Maldives, stated that for the small island country a difference between 1.5 degrees and 2 degrees is actually a death sentence.

Maldives encompasses almost 1,200 islands, with 540,000 people living on 189 of them. The islands, which are only a meter (3.3 feet) from sea level, are being threatened by stronger storms and rising sea levels, which have left the country with no unpolluted freshwater.

Shauna emphasized that rich countries must keep the promise they made in Paris to spend $100 billion each year to help poorer countries cope with the effects of climate change and transition to greener energy.

So far, only one adaptation project has been authorized in in the Maldives by the Green Climate Fund, a critical mechanism for climate finance, and even that took three years. Due to the quick effects of global warming on the islands, by the time funds are granted, the situation on the ground has already altered.

The Maldives spends half of its public spending on attempts to respond to the worst effects of climate change, such as building sea walls to preserve coral reefs. However, the coronavirus outbreak has ravaged the tourism sector and caused the economy to shrink.

The minister expressed hope that the world will take action altogether and the Maldives does not have any other option but to be optimistic about it.

Source credit: https://mainichi.jp/english/articles/20211021/p2g/00m/0sc/027000c