Maldives: 1st Country to go carbon-neutral!

Dear Friends,

We recently stumbled upon this very inspiring news from the Maldives Islands, or rather the Republic of Maldives, also referred to as The Maldives. The Maldives, southwest of India, is made up of a chain of 1192 small coral islands that are grouped into clusters of atolls. It has a total area of about 300 sq km and a population of about 380,000. The capital and largest city is Male, with a population of about 100,000. Arguably the lowest-lying country in the world, the average elevation is 1,5 m above sea level. Naturally, the Maldivians are concerned about global warming and the possibility of much of the islands being inundated with water from rising sea levels. See the picture below for a view of the Maldives archipelago.

malosmadulu_atolls_maldivespic credit: NASA/GSFC/METI/ERSDAC/JAROS

Enter the president of The Maldives, Mohamed Nasheed – ex political prisoner – and only recently (November 2008) sworn in, after defeating long-time president Maumoon Abdul Gayoom. President Nasheed recently announced that they (The Malidives) “aim to become carbon-neutral in a decade.” He added that “climate change threatens us all. Countries need to pull together to de-carbonize the world economy. We know cutting greenhouse gas emissions is possible and the Maldives is willing to play its part, and hoping his plan will serve as a blueprint for other countries.”

The Guardian newspaper reports that President Nasheed “approached British climate change experts Chris Goodall and Mark Lynas to help develop the radical carbon-neutrality plan. The pair worked on a package of measures that could virtually eliminate fossil fuel use on the Maldive archipelago by 2020.” The announcement by the President happened at the recent premiere of the new climate change documentary film The Age of Stupid. Nasheed’s plan calls for “half of a square kilometre of solar panels and 155 wind turbines, each generating 1.5 megawatts. The electricity will power vehicles as well. Boats and automobiles with gasoline engines would be slowly replaced with electric versions.”

“People often tell me caring for the environment is too difficult, too expensive or too much bother. I admit installing solar panels and wind turbines doesn’t come cheap. But when I read those science reports from Copenhagen, I know there is only one choice. Going green might cost a lot but refusing to act now will cost us the Earth” – President Mohammed Nasheed.

See the video below for this bold announcement by Mohammed Nasheed.

Message from the President of the Maldives.

Cut Carbon. Dare to Change!

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