Maldives beach | Reuters
The Maldives will do all in its power to keep “our heads above water”, the head of its delegation at U.N. climate talks, Mohamed Nasheed, said on Thursday (December 13) in an impassioned appeal for nations to overcome their divisions over how to tackle global warming.
The low-lying Maldives is among countries most vulnerable to the effects of climate change such as rising sea levels and coral reef deterioration.
Nasheed was not alone in his appeal to delegates at the talks in Katowice, Poland.
Fiji’s Prime Minister and president of COP23, Frank Bainimarama, delivered a statement on behalf of the Pacific Small Island Developing States (PSIDS). “There must be no expansion of existing coal mines or the creation of new ones,” he said at a news conference on the sidelines of the COP24 talks.
A Greenpeace activist, who witnessed her mother’s town in Fiji be completely devastated by Cyclone Winston in 2016, said climate change is a threat to the whole world.
Vanuatu’s foreign minister and Cook Islands’ prime minister also highlighted the urgency of the climate change issue and the importance for discussions on the matter to continue.
With less than two days until the conference is formally scheduled to end, delegates are still grappling with many issues – not just how the accord will be implemented – including finance, strengthening emissions cuts and monitoring action.
A draft, more concise text of the deal should be available later on Thursday but it is expected to still be laden with brackets for wording to be decided on and gaps. — Reuters