The islands of the Maldives, a string of iridescent pearls stretching across the Indian Ocean, are best known for luxury breaks and honeymoons, but now, the Government has announced plans to make the country carbon-neutral within ten years, in a bid to combat climate change and appeal to green tourists…
The Maldives, the lowest nation in the world, stands to be one of the countries most affected by global warming thanks to rising sea levels which could submerge the islands within 50 years.
Scientists and climate experts have predicted that sea levels could rise by as much as a metre by the end of this Century.
Thus, if the sea levels continue to rise at their current rate, the future looks pretty bleak (and watery) for these 1,192 paradise isles as many of them are already only 1.5 metres above sea level.
The islands, which lie near the southern tip of India and Sri Lanka, are inhabited by around 400,000 people who live across 250 of the islands.
In a desperate bid to control the effects of climate change, the Maldivian President Mohamed Nasheed, has announced his Government’s plan to make the country ‘carbon-neutral’ within the next 10 years, hoping that other countries will follow suit.
As the Maldivian economy relies so heavily on tourism, raking in over £700,000 each year, the Government is also hoping that the carbon-neutral promise will attract more environmentally conscious tourists.
The Government is working with climate energy experts to replace fossil fuels with renewable energy sources.
A new British film about climate change, called ‘The Age of Stupid,’ provided the perfect backdrop against which to launch the carbon-neutral pledge.
The President admitted that becoming carbon-neutral would be very expensive, but it was something they simply had to do – giving new meaning to ‘costing the earth.’
President Nasheed said, “Climate change isn’t a vague and abstract danger but a real threat to our survival.”New home
Shockingly, contingency plans have already been put into place in case the islands are submerged at some point in the future.
Mr Nasheed plans to create a sovereign wealth fund using tourism revenues to buy land in either India or Sri Lanka, where the culture is seen to be fairly similar.
He fears that if he does not take action, the future descendants of the 300,000 islanders could become environmental refugees.News submitted Dan Johnson, The Move Channel