Cop26: what would success look like for a country vanishing under water?

Cop26: what would success look like for a country vanishing under water?

On the eve of Cop26, Mohamed Nasheed, the former president of the Maldives, argues that if countries do not get serious about reducing emissions, it will not be just the Maldives that faces a perilous future


How to listen to podcasts: everything you need to know

This weekend, world leaders and other delegates will begin assembling in Glasgow for the Cop26 climate summit that will run for two weeks. Representatives from 196 countries will meet to hammer out what is hoped will be an ambitious set of pledges to keep alive the mission to limit global heating to 1.5C above industrial levels. The consequences of failure are stark – not least for those countries nearest to breaking point.

The former president of the Maldives Mohamed Nasheed tells Michael Safi that time is running out fast. About 80% of his country’s 1,190 islands is barely a metre above sea level, with 90% of the islands reporting some degree of flooding. Unless the world acts decisively, the Maldives faces an existential threat by the end of the century.

Over the next two weeks, countries such as China, the US and the UK will attempt to tell us what a successful climate agreement looks like. But the stakes are highest for the Maldives and a few dozen other countries that are the most vulnerable to global heating. Whether the summit can be declared a success will depend in a large part on how much hope people such as Nasheed feel by the end of it.

The former Maldives president Mohamed Nasheed delivers a lecture on climate change in Delhi, India.

Support The Guardian

The Guardian is editorially independent.
And we want to keep our journalism open and accessible to all.
But we increasingly need our readers to fund our work.


Support The Guardian

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *