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‘There’s no higher ground for us’ Maldives’ environment minister said

'There's no higher ground for us' Maldives' environment minister said

May 20, 2021: -The Maldives could disappear by the end of the century if the world does not act and cohesively combat climate change, said the minister of environment, climate change, and technology of the country.

On Tuesday, Aminath Shauna said while speaking to CNBC that if environmental damage continues at its ongoing speed, the country “will not be here” by the year 2100. “We will not survive,” she said.

 “Climate change is real, and we are the most vulnerable country in the world,” Shauna said. “There’s no higher ground for us; it’s just us; it’s just our islands and the sea,” she added.

The World Economic Forum estimates that by the year 2050, 80% of people will impact climate change. Meantime, scientists suggest that sea levels could increase by nearly 1.1 meters by the year 2100.

If predictions like those happen to be true, the South Asian archipelago state famed for its island living could be the most adversely affected.

Today, 80% of the country’s 1,190 islands are just a meter over sea level, which makes them particularly vulnerable to rising sea levels. 90% of the islands have already reported flooding, 97% shoreline erosion, and 64% serial erosion, Shauna said.

“Our income and our food and our survival depend on how we address these vulnerabilities in the present. The future of our country, people, and our culture, it all depends on our action today.”

The Maldives has introduced several adaptive measures to minimize climate change, like coastal protection tools and community programs to promote resilience, Shauna said. But, the country wants to become a “leader in mitigation efforts,” for example, 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,” Shauna added and called on individuals and governments to take a step up.

The Maldives released updated targets last year to reduce 26% of its emissions and achieve net-zero carbon emissions by the year 2030. Progress won’t happen without international collaboration, she added.

“We need every single person in the world to address climate change at a personal level and a political level by governments,” Shauna further said.

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