4 April, 2016–Today, the parliament of the Republic of the Maldives, one of the first country’s to raise the alarm on the danger of climate change and sea level rise in the 1980s and Chair of the Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS), voted to ratify the historic Paris climate change agreement.
The decision makes the low-lying island nation among the first to complete its domestic ratification process for the treaty (including AOSIS members Fiji, Republic of the Marshal Islands, and Palau) and comes on the heels of startling reports about the stability of polar ice sheets.
“We have long argued that there was no time to waste in tackling climate change. It is telling that some of the country’s most vulnerable to the crisis were the first to approve its ratification. We hope the rest of the world follows our example and, even more importantly, moves expeditiously to implement climate solutions,” said Thoriq Ibrahim, Maldives Minister of Environment and Energy and Chair of AOSIS.
Last year, the Maldives submitted its nationally determined climate change plan, which unconditionally commits to a 10 percent emissions reduction and as high as 24 percent on a conditional manner, an ambitious pledge given its relatively miniscule contribution to global emissions and significant adaptation efforts.
“In Paris, small islands won the inclusion of a 1.5 degree Celsius temperature goal to be included in the agreement against all odds. The unsettling news about sea level rise shows the wisdom of that argument and underscores the desperate need to dramatically cut emissions immediately,” said Ibrahim. “Ratification is just the start. Bold action must quickly follow.”
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