Maldives minister on carbon emitters, weather crisis

Concrete blocks are being placed along the shoreline to try to prevent further coastal erosion in Mahibadhoo, Maldives.

Carl Kurt | Getty Images News | Getty Images

The environment minister of the Maldives, an island nation at risk of disappearing by the end of the century, said the world’s biggest carbon emitters are not listening to what is happening to countries facing extreme climate change.

The G20 contributes 75% of global emissions, Aminath Shona, Minister of Environment, Climate Change and Technology of the Maldives, said Monday during CNBC’s Sustainable Future Forum.

“They haven’t cut back, and in fact, as we come out of the pandemic, in 2021 we’ve seen a 5% increase in emissions from the developed world,” she said. “No one is listening to…what we’re going through in terms of extreme weather events.”

“I don’t think the biggest emitters in the developed world really listen to the science when listening to what’s really happening to small island countries like the Maldives,” Shona added.

The Maldives has the lowest terrain of any country in the world, making the Indian Ocean archipelago highly vulnerable to rising sea levels.

“Unless we have quick, immediate and widespread action, we will not be able to contain global temperatures above 1.5 [degrees Celsius]She said on the forum.

We’re going through things we thought would happen at the end of the century.

Amina Shona

Minister of Environment, Climate Change and Technology, Maldives

Earlier this year, Shauna told CNBC that the popular holiday destination could disappear by the end of the century if the world did not act quickly and coherently to combat climate change.

Currently, more than 80% of the country’s 1,190 islands are no more than 1 meter above sea level, making them particularly vulnerable to sea level rise.

At the time, it said, 90% of islands in the Maldives reported flooding, 97% experienced beach erosion, and 64% experienced sequential erosion.

‘The death penalty’

In order to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius, Shauna told CNBC on Monday [2.7 degrees Fahrenheit], the world needs to commit to decarbonization, and agree on carbon-neutral and carbon-neutral policies.

Net zero emissions are achieved when an entity removes the maximum amount of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases from the atmosphere as it is released into it.

Read more about clean energy from CNBC Pro

Countries agreed under the 2015 Paris Agreement to limit global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius – a threshold that scientists say could avert the worst effect of global warming.

“The difference between 1.5 [degrees Celsius] And two, as my boss said…a death sentence for us. “We are going through things that we thought were going to happen towards the end of the century,” she said.

She was referring to comments made last month by Maldives President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih at the United Nations General Assembly, where he urged rich countries to act more forcefully against climate change.

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