Some countries in the world are more worried about global warming than others. The Maldives, for example, might be drowned by rising sea levels. And Nepal fears being flooded by melting mountain glaciers. I wrote recently about their governments meeting in unusual places to highlight their common plight.
They are tired of waiting around for the rich nations to pull everybody out of this mess. So the president of the Maldives, Mohamed Nasheed, is hosting a two-day conference, called the Maldives Forum for Climate Vulnerable Countries, for the 11 countries most at risk from global warming, according to Voice of America. The participating countries are Kiribati, Bangladesh, Nepal, Vietnam, Ghana, Kenya, Tanzania, Barbados and Bhutan, reports Act on Copenhagen.
In a welcome address, Maldivian Environment Minister Mohamed Aslam said, “The countries represented in this room are diverse but they have one thing in common: their vulnerability to climate change.”
Nasheed scolded heavy-emissions countries that don’t face such immediate peril for not doing enough to slow and reverse global warming. He then called on the conference participants to join him in taking “moral leadership” on the issue and creating a “global survival pact” to take the lead on climate action.
While empowering small nations to act assertively is good, one hopes that it will be clear at the global summit on climate change in Copenhagen next month that we are all, in fact, vulnerable countries.
By Katherine Gustafson