Threatened Maldives urges joint action at climate talks

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By Maryam Omidi

MALE (Reuters) – The Maldives, threatened by rising sea levels because of global warming, on Monday pleaded with developed nations to reduce carbon emissions and said developing nations could change the outcome at climate talks in Copenhagen.

The appeal by the Indian ocean archipelago came at a climate change summit grouping Bangladesh, Nepal, Vietnam, Kiribati, Barbados, Bhutan, Ghana, Rwanda, Kenya and Tanzania before next month’s global climate change summit in Copenhagen.

Despite being among the world’s lowest emitters of greenhouse gases, the countries share the worst impacts of climate change including desertification, drought, floods and storm surges.

“We are vulnerable because we have modest means with which to protect ourselves from the coming disaster,” Maldivian President Mohammed Nasheed told the conference.

Nasheed, who in March outlined ambitious plans to make the world’s first carbon-neutral nation within a decade, said developing nations could change the outcome of Copenhagen, blaming developed nations for the global warming.

“They never make commitments, unless someone else does first. This is the logic of the madhouse, a recipe for collective suicide. We don’t want a global suicide pact. And we will not sign a global suicide pact, in Copenhagen or anywhere.

“I think a bloc of carbon-neutral, developing nations could change the outcome of Copenhagen. At the moment every country arrives at the negotiations seeking to keep their own emissions as high as possible.”

The summit comes three days after hopes of a legally binding treaty to replace the Kyoto Protocol were dashed during talks in Barcelona.

Nasheed last week said Maldives could achieve its aim of becoming carbon neutral well before its 2020 target, the Indian Ocean island nation’s president said on Monday.

(Writing by Ranga Sirilal; Editing by Nick Macfie)

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