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Nasheed to represent Maldives at climate change conference

The former president will be the envoy of President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih.



Former president Mohamed Nasheed will be representing the Maldives at the COP24 Climate Change Conference in Poland next month.

Nasheed will be attending as an envoy of Ibrahim Mohamed Solih, the president-elect’s spokeswoman Mariya Ahmed Didi told the press Thursday in her daily briefing.

The former president brought the Maldives’ vulnerability to international attention with an underwater cabinet ahead of the Copenhagen summit in 2009, the lawmaker noted.

Nasheed became an icon of the climate justice movement for his advocacy at the summit, which was depicted in the award-winning documentary The Island President.

The high level segment of the upcoming summit in Katowice, Poland will begin on December 3.

The Maldives was among the first nations to sign the historic Paris climate change agreement in 2016.

During the previous climate change talks, the Maldives along with other small islands states lobbied to keep global temperature rises to 1.5-degree Celsius. As the world’s low-lying country, the archipelago is among the most vulnerable to climate change impacts such as sea level rise, ocean acidification and extreme weather events.

In a new action plan submitted ahead of the climate change negotiations in December 2015, the Maldives pledged to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 10 percent before 2030 by switching to renewable sources of energy.

The target fell far short of ambitious plans announced by Nasheed in early 2009 for the Maldives to become carbon neutral by 2020, which has since been scrapped by successive administrations.

The outgoing administration of President Abdulla Yameen faced criticism over its seemingly contradictory policies of investing in renewable energy and exploring for oil.