The Maldives will disappear by the end of this century if climate change is not halted, President Ibrahim Solih said on Monday.
“The Maldives is often cited as one of those low-lying countries that could disappear off the map because of the climate crisis. I am here to tell you that my people are already living the steady onset of this reality,” Solih said at the 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26) in Glasgow, Scotland.
He recalled several trips to different islands of the Maldives over the past month. All the islands suffer severe erosion, one of the effects of climate change harming the island nation, the president stressed.
He added that if the rate of temperature rise grows from the current 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 degrees Fahrenheit) to 2 degrees Celsius, it will become a “death sentence” for the Maldives by the end of the century.
Solih called on “major emitters” to particularly address the climate emergency by making more ambitious pledges to reduce emissions to a net-zero threshold.
The world’s main climate conference kicked off in Scotland’s Glasgow on Sunday. It is hosted by the United Kingdom in partnership with Italy and will run until November 12.
World leaders are expected to agree on steps to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees, including a phase-out of coal, curbs on deforestation, transition to greener technologies, and investment in renewables.