Malé, capital of the Maldive islands, photo: Jim Trodel
The Maldives may well be one of the first nations to be entirely uninhabitable because of rising sea levels, but budget cuts have forced their president, Mohamed Nasheed, to not attend the upcoming COP15 climate talks in Copenhagen this December. Reuters quotes a presidential spokesman as saying "We will engage with Copenhagen as much as possible without the president traveling there": Declines in Tourism, Rising Spending to Blame
The Indian Ocean island nation currently faces a budget deficit equal to 14% of its $850 million GDP, a figure which has tripled in the past year due to rising government expenditure and declines in tourism revenue.
Considering the situation (and not ignoring the fiscal policies of the Maldives which may have gotten them into this mess) surely the international community can come up with funding to enable the president to attend the COP15 talks. Come on people, we can do this.
Maldives Taking Steps to Save Itself
Despite its essentially doomed situation -- even if global carbon emissions are cut 40% by 2020 and 80% by 2050, in all likelihood, sea level rise will still overtake the nation -- the Maldives continues to take action. It pledged last March to be the first carbon neutral nation (though it may have to duke that one out with Tuvalu and Vatican City); and is investigating purchasing land on higher ground to house all its citizens.