Colombo – Six countries seen as most threatened by rising sea levels have vowed to cut their carbon emissions as a gesture of their commitment to fight global warming, the Maldivian government said on Monday.
The countries, mostly low-lying nations, met over the weekend in the Maldives ahead of a UN climate change meeting in Mexico and pledged to drastically cut their emissions while pressing others to follow suit.
“Antigua and Barbuda, Costa Rica, Ethiopia, the Maldives, the Marshall Islands and Samoa all pledged to slash greenhouse gas emissions and pursue green growth and development,” the government said in a statement.
The Maldives, which wants to be carbon-neutral by 2020, is one of the most vulnerable countries to a rise in sea levels because its low-lying islands and atolls would be submerged.
Ethiopia hopes to be carbon neutral by 2025, while the Marshall Islands has pledged to cut emissions by 40% by 2020, and Antigua and Barbuda by 25%. Costa Rica plans to go carbon neutral by 2021.
Being carbon neutral means offsetting emissions against other measures that help to reduce greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.
“When those with the least start doing the most, it shows that everyone’s ambitions can be raised,” Maldivian President Mohamed Nasheed said in the statement after the weekend meeting.
Smaller nations are trying to hammer out a common position before the UN climate meeting in Mexico scheduled to open on November 29.
The 10-day meeting is set to revisit the issues of global warming after talks at December’s Copenhagen summit fell short of a binding international treaty.