20 Jul 2010

Low-lying Pacific nations among those pledging climate change action

11:45 am on 20 July 2010

Six countries seen as most threatened by rising sea levels have vowed to cut their carbon emissions.

The countries, mostly low-lying nations, met at the weekend in the Maldives and guaranteed to drastically cut their emissions while pressing others to follow suit.

The Maldives Government says the decision is a gesture of their commitment to fight global warming.

The government says in a statement, Antigua and Barbuda, Costa Rica, Ethiopia, the Maldives, the Marshall Islands and Samoa have all pledged to slash greenhouse gas emissions and pursue green growth and development.

The Maldives, which wants to be carbon-neutral by 2020, is one of the most vulnerable countries to a rise in sea levels because its low-lying islands and atolls could be submerged.

Ethiopia hopes to be carbon neutral by 2025, while the Marshall Islands has pledged to cut emissions by 40 per cent by 2020, and Antigua and Barbuda by 25 per cent.

Costa Rica plans to go carbon neutral by 2021.

Being carbon neutral means offsetting emissions against other measures that help to reduce greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.

The President of the Maldives, Mohamed Nasheed, says when those with the least start doing the most, it shows everyone's ambitions can be raised.