Maldives President urges global commitment to Copenhagen and Abu Dhabi’s World Future Energy Summit to save country

Published December 7th, 2009 - 01:16 GMT

Speaking prior to two key events on the global energy calendar - The United Nations Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen and the 2010 World Future Energy Summit in Abu Dhabi - Mohamed Nasheed, President of the Maldives, has called for massive investments in renewable energy and green technologies to address the critical issue of climate change.

In a statement to government, industry and the world’s public, Nasheed warned of the dangers to all countries if the world continues along its current path of ’business as usual.’

Nasheed, who will speak at the 2010 World Future Energy Summit in January, said: “We must ensure that solid outcomes come from these two critical events.  We need to build the green economy of the future by jettisoning fossil fuels and embracing renewable energy. 

“Climate change not only threatens frontline states such as the Maldives; it threatens us all.  It is therefore everyone’s responsibility.  I urge everyone; governments, businesses and the global public to act now.”

The Maldives President has long been an advocate of renewable energy, recently announcing plans to make the Indian Ocean islands carbon-neutral within a decade.

The Maldives Government aims to eliminate the use of fossil fuels by 2020, with plans for renewable generation of electricity and a new transmission infrastructure, including wind turbines, rooftop solar panels and biomass plants. The move will require significant investment and support from developed nations across the globe.

President Nasheed recently wrote on the United Nations website that climate change is the 21st century’s greatest human rights issue and security challenge.

Nasheed goes on to state that developed countries, with funds and technological expertise at their disposal, must lead the way in slashing emissions and embracing green growth.

But if the world is to avoid catastrophic climate change, he writes, it is clear that developing countries must also halt emissions growth, including the phasing out of coal power and immediate reductions in tropical deforestation.

One of the key measurements of success at the Copenhagen United Nations Climate Change Conference will be the agreement of financial commitments from developed countries to the developing world.

According to European Commission, this subsidy amounts to US$150 billion per year up to 2020. But developing economies have requested as much as US$400 billion per year to address climate change.

For countries such as the Maldives access to capital and technology is crucial in order to implement renewable energy strategies.

The challenge of realising sustainable energy supply will be a key topic at the World Future Energy Summit 2010. Six plenary forums will address the most urgent questions related to world energy policy and achieving a viable renewable energy industry.

Discussing the main outcomes and implications of the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen in December will also be high on the agenda.

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