The Maldives, a group of islands in the Indian Ocean, yesterday joined the race to be the World’s 1st Carbon Neutral country!
They join New Zealand, Norway, Iceland, Monaco and current favourite, Costa Rica (already generating 80% of its energy from renewable sources) in a commitment to completely “Decarbonise“.
Both the Maldives and Costa Rica share not only a strong reliance on tourism but also both have a special interest in environmental issues. Costa Rica is home to 5% of the world’s biodiversity and fortunately has a government which feels a “special responsibility” to the world.
“Because Costa Rica is so biologically intense, we recognise that we have a special responsibility“ Roberto Dobles, Minister for Environment & Energy
For the Maldives though, its not only about the preservation of wildlife, ‘human life’ is also precariously at stake here. One of the lowest lying countries in the world, these 1,192 islets make up one of the most vulnerable human habitats to rising sea levels. So vulnerable that in November last year, the country announced that it will begin diverting a portion of its revenue to buying a new homeland should the country ‘sink‘.
With New Zealand and Norway planning to go carbon neutral by 2040 and 2050 respectively, can the Maldives’ plan to spend $110 m to go carbon neutral beat these 2 leaders in renewable energy to the finishing line?
Something tells me that the people of the Maldives are more concerned about how the nations who are already ‘in the race’ inspire other countries to make the same commitments, commitments that will help the Maldivians keep their heads above water.