Goal of 1.5C ‘in sight’ at Cop26, says Maldivian politician

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The goal of keeping temperature rises to below 1.5C is now “in sight” at the Cop26 summit in Glasgow, parliamentarians from across the globe have been told.

Mohamed Nasheed, the speaker of the Maldives Parliament and a former president of the island state, said while there had been a “mood of pessimism” before the talks began, there has already been some “encouraging outcomes”.

With India now having set a net-zero target, together with pledges on the greater use of green energy, Mr Nasheed said the “number crunchers have looked at this increased target for India and other pledges, and the 2.7C we expected when we came into Cop has now been reduced to 1.9 degrees”.

He continued: “If you add in the 0.3C for the world methane pledge and perhaps some more for the agreement to stop deforestation, I think we are in sight of the 1.5C goal here in Glasgow.”

However he stressed there is still a “gap between paper pledges and climate reality”.

Mr Nasheed, who was addressing the Globe Cop26 Legislators Summit being held at the Scottish Parliament, added: “We must close the gap between ambition and reality, and that means delivering on the pledges we have had.”

His plea came as he told parliamentarians from across the globe: “I stand here today as an elected representative of one of the most vulnerable countries on earth.

“No point of ground in my country the Maldives is more than a couple of metres above the sea level, we are already seeing our coast eroding as the seas rise and the waves eat away at more and more of our land.”

He insisted politicians across the world cannot just declare climate emergencies but must set out “in legislation how governments must meet their promises”.

He added: “I will not sign a suicide note for my nation. None of us will sign a suicide note for the world.

“Despite all our differences, we all know what the outcome must be.

“Let us unite and let us use the power of parliaments to deliver 1.5C. Let us save this planet. We are the generation to do that.”

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