The Maldives may disappear by the end of the 21st century, according to Environment, Climate Change and Technology Minister. The Maldives could disappear due to global warming if the world does not act quickly, said the country’s minister.
According to the Minister, currently the surface of 80% of the country’s 1190 islands exceeds sea level by only 1 meter. Therefore, rising water levels can be critical to their existence.
“Our income, our food and our survival depend on how we solve these problems today. The future of our country, the future of our people, the future of our culture – it all depends on our actions today,” said Aminat Shauna.
However, the Maldives is now trying to reduce the impact of global warming: the government plans to reduce carbon emissions by 26% from 1990 levels and reach zero by 2030.
In February 2021, scientists said that the world’s oceans were rising faster than the worst forecasts.
According to them, climate change is causing faster-rising water levels in the oceans than previously predicted by even the most pessimistic forecasts. Recent studies suggest that this situation affects two-fifths of the world’s population living off the coast worldwide.
It will take $ 300 billion to halt global warming for 20 years and stop rising greenhouse gas emissions.
‘There’s no higher ground for us’: Maldives’ environment minister says country risks disappearing
Aminath Shauna told CNBC “there is no higher ground for us” as the country lies at risk from extreme flooding.
The World Economic Forum has estimated that by 2050, 80% of people in the world will be impacted by climate change.
Speaking to CNBC, Aminath Shauna said that if environmental damage continues at its current pace, the country “will not be here” by 2100. “We will not survive,” she said.
“Climate change is real and we are the most vulnerable country in the world,” Shauna told “Capital Connection” speaking from Male. “There’s no higher ground for us … it’s just us, it’s just our islands and the sea.”
The World Economic Forum has estimated that by 2050, 80% of people in the world will be impacted by climate change. Meantime, scientists suggest sea levels could rise by as much as 1.1 meters by 2100.
The future of our country, the future of our people, the future of our culture – it all depends on our action today.
If such predictions ring true, the South Asian archipelago state famed for its island living could be among the most adversely effected.
Today, 80% of the country’s 1,190 islands are just a meter above sea level, making them particularly vulnerable to rising sea levels. Already, 90% of the islands have reported flooding, 97% shoreline erosion, and 64% serial erosion, Shauna said.
“Our income and our food and our survival depends on how we address these vulnerabilities today. The future of our country, the future of our people, the future of our culture – it all depends on our action today.”
The Maldives has already introduced several adaptive measures to minimize the impact of climate change, such as coastal protection tools and community programs to promote resilience, Shauna said. But more than that, the country wants to become a “leader in mitigation efforts,” like reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
“We want to lead in the effort and to say that if the Maldives can do it, then the entire world can do it as well,” said Shauna, calling on individuals and governments to step up.
Last year, the Maldives released updated targets to reduce 26% of its emissions and achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2030. Such progress won’t happen without international collaboration though, she said.
“We need every single person in the world to address climate change at a personal level, and at a political level by governments,” said Shauna. “Ambitious targets are urgently needed to help not just the Maldives but all small island states.”