President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih has made an impassioned plea to the world leaders by asking them what it would take for them to listen to the Maldives regarding the harsh realities of climate change.

The President made this statement earlier tonight while delivering the National Statement at the 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26) World Leaders Summit. Speaking to world leaders and dignitaries present at the summit, President Solih revealed the grim lived realities of Maldivians already due to climate change.

Our islands are slowly being inundated by the sea, one by one. I am here to tell you that my people are already living the steady onset of this reality
President Solih

Continuing his statement, President Solih said that in a world where the rise in temperature remains unchecked at 1.5 and jumps to 2 degrees, the Maldives would cease to exist and our fate would remain a dark omen of the grim and similar future that awaits the rest of the world.

Stating that the Maldives is determined to be a part of global solutions to reverse current trends, the President again reminded world leaders the climate emergency cannot be solved by the actions of individual nations alone

President Solih attending the opening ceremony of the COP26 World Leaders Summit/ Photo: President's Office

He called on major emitters to step up their efforts to make more ambitious climate commitments and to uphold obligations such as the climate financing pledges made at Paris. He expressed disappointment with the lack of realization of previously-made assurances, alluding to red tape, required studies, and paperwork that render the urgency of the situation ineffective.

He urged world leaders to agree on stringent accountability measures to ensure that commitments on climate finance are met for vulnerable countries like the Maldives to stand a chance of survival.

Ending the National Statement, President Solih reminded world leaders that this may be the last chance that the world has to get ahead of climate change, reiterating that we must not let this opportunity go to waste.