Skip to content

Coming out of the Coalmine


Scan the speeches given on September 22nd’s UN climate conference, and one in particular stands out – given by Mohamed Nasheed, the president of The Republic of Maldives, a member of AOSIS, the Association of Small Island States. These states, severely threatened by climate change as rising ocean waters inundate their land masses, are often seen as, Nasheed states,  “the world’s conscience on global warming: the canary in the coal mine.” However, the Republic of Maldives is changing its tone. Nasheed’s speech contained none of the usual pleas to larger countries to cut emissions before the AOSIS states sink into oblivion. On the contrary! His speech was, of all those given, the most brutally honest in recognizing that, though they continually warn and implore nations to cut emissions, “deep down, we know you [developed nations] are not really listening.”

So the canary is coming out of the coal mine. No longer, Nasheed says, will small island states be content to simply beg the rest of the world for action – they will point the way to a solution and lead by example. Nasheed announced that The Republic of Maldives has set a goal for becoming carbon-neutral by the year 2020. What an incredible way to spur other nations to significant action! He goes on to propose three, in my opinion, very valid, reasons for why the world has been stuck in a “political deadlock,” and concludes by urging leaders and nations to “discard those habits that have led to twenty years of complacency and broken promises on climate change, and instead to seize the historic opportunity that sits at the end of the road to Copenhagen.”

Go to: to view Nasheed’s speech in its entirety.

– Amy Richmond

No comments yet

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: