Maldives Vows To Be First Carbon-Neutral Nation…

baro-maldives

The Maldives will shift entirely to renewable energy over the next decade to become the first carbon-neutral nation and fight climate change that threatens the low-lying archipelago’s existence, the president said on Sunday.

President Mohamed Nasheed said the Indian Ocean islands would swap fossil fuels for wind and solar power, and buy and destroy EU carbon credits to offset emissions from tourists flying to visit its luxury vacation resorts.

“Climate change threatens us all. Countries need to pull together to de-carbonize the world economy,” Nasheed said in a statement. “We know cutting greenhouse gas emissions is possible and the Maldives is willing to play its part.”

The $1.1 billion plan would require 155 wind turbines supplying 1.5 megawatts each and a half a square kilometer of solar panels to meet the needs of the islands’ 385,000 people.

“We aim to become carbon-neutral in a decade,” he said.

The Maldives has become a high-end tourism magnet for travelers seeking idyllic tropical isles.

The Maldives has become a high-end tourism magnet for travelers seeking idyllic tropical isles. It is imperative for her Government to take a closer look at environmental impact and protection.

The Maldives' country brand has been built primarily on the back of images of secluded tropical like this resort.

The Maldives' country brand has been built primarily on the back of images of secluded tropical like this resort.

The state-owned electricity monopoly will be privatized, and investors and donors invited to take part in the plan.

maldives-map

Map of The Maldives

The program envisions installing battery backup in case wind and solar sources are inadequate, and a power plant to be run off coconut husks in the capital, Male.

The Maldives’ economy, based almost entirely on fishing and tourism, is worth about $800 million a year, so it will need outside help.

The Maldives' 1,200 coral islands tempt swimmers, snorkelers, fishermen, and other tourists. For those seeking a private piece of paradise, about 1,000 isles are uninhabited. Photo: Paolo Curto/Getty Images

The Maldives' 1,200 coral islands tempt swimmers, snorkelers, fishermen, and other tourists. For those seeking a private piece of paradise, about 1,000 isles are uninhabited. Photo: Paolo Curto/Getty Images


Nasheed last year unseated Asia’s longest-serving ruler, 30-year incumbent President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom, in the islands’ first multiparty presidential election. Gayoom has become a vocal advocate for mitigating climate change.

Nasheed drew global attention shortly after his election when he said the Maldives would start looking to buy land in other countries to resettle people once the seas rose, but later acknowledged the plan was not feasible financially.

The new plan could pay for itself in 10 years because of the savings on oil imports, said Mark Lynas, an environmentalist and author of three books on climate change who worked with the Maldivian government on the plan.

“It’s going to cost a lot of money but it will also save a lot of money from not having to import oil,” he said…

Source: Reuters

This entry was posted in Biodiversity, Ecotourism, Global Warming, Green, Green Travel, Sustainable Development, Sustainable Travel, Tourism and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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