Maldives minister: Failure to limit warming a death sentence
Published : Wednesday, 20 October, 2021 at 11:14 PM Count : 989
A failure to limit global warming could mean a "death sentence" for small island nations like the Maldives, including the end of their livelihoods and cultures, the country's environment minister said Wednesday, reports AP
Almost all countries signed the 2015 Paris climate accord, aimed at limiting global warming to 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) above levels in the late 19th century, and ideally no more than 1.5 C (2.7 F). But the world already has warmed nearly 1.1 C (2 F), scientists say.
A report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change said earlier this year that the world is likely to exceed the 1.5 C increase in the 2030s, earlier than expected.
"The difference between 1.5 degrees and 2 degrees, for us, really is a death sentence," Aminath Shauna, the Maldives' minister for environment, climate change and technology, said in an online interview with The Associated Press from Male, the Maldives' capital.
Speaking ahead of a key U.N. climate summit known as COP26 that starts in Glasgow, Scotland, on Oct. 31, she said she hopes the world will commit to large-scale and rapid actions to limit warming to 1.5 C, and that failing to do so would leave small island nations struggling to survive.
The Maldives has nearly 1,200 islands, of which 189 are inhabited by its 540,000 people. The islands average just a meter (3.3 feet) above sea level and are threatened by rising seas and stronger storms that have left no uncontaminated fresh water anywhere in the nation, she said.
"The question really is: What is not at stake? Our survival, our food, our income," she said.
She said rich nations need to fulfil their Paris promise to spend $100 billion annually to help poorer nations cope with the impact of climate change and switch to cleaner energy.