Maldives To Become the World's First Carbon-Neutral Country
Mohamed Nasheed, the leader of the Maldives, has announced that the country will become carbon-neutral within a decade by completely switching to renewable energy sources.
“We aim to become carbon-neutral in a decade,” he said.
“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,” Nasheed said, adding that he hopes his plan will serve as a blueprint for other countries.
“We understand more than perhaps anyone what would happen to us if we didn’t do anything about it or if the rest of the world doesn’t find the imagination to confront this problem,” Nasheed told Newshour in a telephone interview from the Maldives’ capital of Male.
“So basically, we don’t want to sit around and blame others, but we want to do whatever we can, and hopefully, if we can become carbon-neutral, and when we come up with the plan, we hope that these plans also will serve as a blueprint for other nations to follow. We think we can do it, we feel that everyone should be engaged in it, and we don’t think that this is an issue that should be taken lightly.”
Nasheed’s plan calls for half of a square kilometre (0.19 square miles) 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.
The plan will cost an estimated US$1.1 billion. The economy of the Maldives, reliant mainly on tourism and fishing, is worth $800 million a year.
The Maldives are located in the Indian ocean and are among the lowest-lying islands on the planet, with none of them rising more than six feet (1.8 metres) above sea level, making them particularly vulnerable to rising sea levels associated with global warming.