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Survival of the AOSIS

December 16, 2009

Video from Project Survival Media, addressing the
survival of the Fiji Islands in face of rising sea levels

Mohamed Nasheed, President of Maldives. (Transcript courtesy of Jamie Henn (

This is the endgame in more ways then one.

I think we should celebrate the progress made so far.

No one expected such an historic endeavor to be easy. I am still optimistic that we can leave this meeting with a planet saving deal.

I would like to point out that during the course of the last two years, negotiators have tried hard to come up with a draft text that can be place infront of heads of state tomorrow. Last night, very late last night, early in the morning, there was a text that was somewhat finalized, but again, negotiators are unable to agree upon this text. Therefore, I am so sorry to say that come tomorrow, heads of state will not have a draft text infront of them. We will be in trouble and we might not come up with an agreement in Copenhagen.

That in my mind is totally unexceptable, not just only for us, but for millions and millions ofpeople around the world. The Aosis group has proposed a text for this prupose and the Maldives will do its upmost o help make this outcome a reality

For us this more then just another meeting. It is a matter of life an death. Carbon concentrations higher then 350 ppm and temp rises about 1.5 degeress will submerge my country, dissolve our coral reefs, turn our oceans to acid  and destabilize the planet

Any one who says these numbers are impossible is saying that it is impossible to save us, to save our nation. This I cannot accept.

Ladies and gentlemen, to make these 350 and 1.5 degrees goals a reality the IPCC states that we must peak emissions by 2015.

The US says it opposes the 350 target because the technology does not exist to make it. I would like to point out that when President Kennedy announced that the US would want to go to the moon there was no technology to back the president. But very soon, in fact seven years later, man landed on moon.

But I know that there is no limit to American ingenuity. This is the country that first announced it would send a man to the moon. And then worked around the clock to build a spacecraft. Get the politics right and the technology will follow.

Technical creativy can make great leaps for mankind, but politics must create the spring board.

Industrialized countries must raise the level of their ambition. They must commit to 45% by 2020 and 95% by 2050.

The fact is that the majority of the future emissions rises are projected to come from developing countries.

I’m sure that China shows leadership others will follow. After all, it is not carbon that we want, but development. It is not coal we want, but electricity. It is not oil we want, but transport.

Developed countries created the climate crisis. Developing countries must not turn into a calamity.

Therefore I invite the leaders of big developing countries to recognize the responsibilities. I urge them to bring forward verifiable actions to bring carbon intensity 30% below business as usual by 2020.

I believe you should not ask others to do what you refuse to do yourself.

Please help us go green.

When we say this, please bear this in mind, that climate change negotiations have nothing, nothing at all to do with money.

Maldives is a very small state, we have never received aid from European Union countries.

Climate change negotiations for me, and for my country, have everything to do with our grandchildren.

If we continue business as usual, we will not be able to see our grandchildren.

I am also encouraged by regional climate initiatives in places like California and Quebec where true leadership is being shown outside the realm of the nation state.

Climate change I do understand is an issue that transcends nationality, that transcends the nation state. And what we have on offer fars for shorter then what we are seeing from sub regions, provinces, or states.

Ladies and gentlemen, Kyoto divided the world … our task now is to unite the world behind a shared vision of low-carbon growth.

The Maldives is trying to lead the way. I call on every country on the world to join us, not just for the sake of the Maldives, but for the sake of the entire planet.

If we are not able to come to an understanding during the course of the 48 hours I think we might very well be doomed.

Consolidated live from COP15
ECO Singapore / Project Survival Media

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