President Mohamed Nasheed who is currently serving a 13 year sentence following an unfair trial on politically motivated charges welcomes the joint statement by Amnesty International and Greenpeace international and reiterates their calls for commitments to clean and renewable energy to prevent a climate change-induced global human rights crisis.
President Nasheed says that, while progress has been made during the Paris climate talks, it is nevertheless deeply concerning that the combined greenhouse gas emission reduction proposals of all countries would still lead to a catastrophic 2.7°C increase in global temperatures – a far cry from the 1.5°C limit that many scientists say is safe.
During this critical year, President Nasheed calls upon all world leaders to immediately commit to 100% national de-carbonisation programs.
President Nasheed also expressed his deep disappointment with the Maldives’ paltry emissions reduction target – a mere 10% from business as usual. In effect, the Maldives is proposing to increase its emissions by 300% by 2030.
During President Nasheed’s administration, the Maldives pledged to the United Nations that it would become carbon neutral by 2020. This policy has been scrapped by the authoritarian Yameen administration, which has also announced plans to drill the Maldives’ pristine waters for crude oil.
President Nasheed believes that Maldives has no moral authority on climate change, and is unsuitable as a chair of the Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS). He believes that AOSIS would be better served at the Paris talks by a chair that has a genuine commitment to both climate change and democracy.
The human rights situation in the Maldives has progressively deteriorated since 2012. Over 1700 people have been prosecuted for peaceful protests. All opposition leaders are either in jail or persecuted. As a direct result of its human rights track record, Maldives’ role in international climate change negotiations have significantly weakened.
President Nasheed said: :
“Six years ago, the Maldives was a beacon of democracy and a champion of climate action. Today, it is ruled by a violent dictatorship that plans to increase carbon emissions 300%.
“Climate change and democracy are fundamentally linked: when leaders don’t care about their people, don’t expect them to help protect the planet.”
President Nasheed’s unfair imprisonment and Maldives’ regression to autocracy has been widely criticized by leading diplomats and human rights organisations including the UN Secretary General, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, US Secretary of State, Amnesty International and International Commission of Jurists. In October the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention decided President Nasheed’s detention is arbitrary and has called for his release.