President says Maldives must become carbon neutral at keynote address in London

President Mohamed Nasheed has said the Maldivian people are directly affected by climate change, and steps should be taken to achieve carbon neutrality.

In his keynote address at a London dinner hosted by the Mary Robinson Foundation-Climate Justice (MRFCJ), the President noted that the Maldives sat just two metres above sea level. He said that the low elevation makes the country vulnerable to natural disasters, such as the 2004 tsunami.

Nasheed also noted that over 70 Maldive islands have contaminated water supplies due to sea salt intrusion, and supplying desalination systems to all islands has doubled state expenditures.

Nasheed advocated for a deeper understanding of the climate, and urged stronger preventative measures against climate change.

Reducing carbon emissions was one key solution. Nasheed also urged his audience to develop a legally binding climate agreement.

Nasheed said the Maldives should replace fossil fuel with solar power and other renewable sources of energy as part of its commitment to reaching carbon neutrality.