The Maldives has informed the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) that it will reduce its net carbon emissions by 100% before 2020.
This is not a total reduction of emissions but rather a statement of carbon neutrality. The president’s pledge to the UNFCCC following the Copenhagen Accord is currently the most ambitious emissions reduction target to be submitted by any country.
Deputy Environment Minister Dr Mohamed Shareef acknowledged that the promise to reduce net emissions by 100% was misleading.
“That would seem that a country would not produce any CO2 at all. This is possible in the long term, but at a great cost,” he said.
“Airplanes will land, sea vessels will use diesel; what the government actually means is that they will offset their carbon emissions.”
Dr Shareef explained that carbon neutrality meant a country offsetting at least half its emissions by using renewable energy sources.
The president said the country was working with renewable energy providers to install wind turbines and solar panels, and would request technological and financial support to implement its ambitions to become carbon neutral.
“New technologies allow us to both develop and maintain a healthy environment. It is time mankind moves into the Green Age,” the president urged.
“Climate change threatens us all. If we don’t act now, we will lose the rainforests, lose the coral reefs and, potentially, lose human civilization itself.”