President Nasheed has inaugurated an advisory council that will spearhead the government’s efforts to mitigate and adapt to the effects of climate change. The President inaugurated the council at a press conference held this afternoon at the President’s Office.

Speaking at the press conference, the President said that the government hoped that other countries would take example from the Maldives’ initiative and galvanize themselves into taking much-needed radical action.

The Presidential Advisory Council on Climate Change will provide expert advice on how the Maldives can cut its greenhouse gas emissions to become the world’s first carbon neutral country in ten years. The advisory council will also recommend adaptation measures that the Maldives can introduce to protect the country from rising sea levels.

Vice President Mohamed Waheed will chair the council, which will present its recommendations for action to President Nasheed.

Members of the Advisory Council on Climate Change include:

1. Mr Mohamed Aslam - Minister of Housing, Transport and Environment
2. Dr Mohamed Ali – Minister of State for Fisheries and Agriculture
3. Mr Ahmed Shaiq – expert on physical planning
4. Dr Simad Saeed – policy strategist
5. Dr Mohamed Shiham Adam – marine scientist
6. Mr Hussain Zahir – marine biologist
7. Dr Ahmed Jamsheed Mohamed – environmental health expert
8. Dr Mohamed Shareef – expert on coastal erosion
9. Ms Hudha Ahmed – expert on environmental management
10. Mr Mohamed Inaz – from UNDP
11. Mr Ahmed Saleem – from Environmental Institute
12. Mr Mohamed Rasheed – energy expert
13. Mr Ibrahim Hameez - housing engineer
14. Mr Abdul Azeez Abdul Hakeem – expert on coral reefs
15. Mr Amjad Abdulla - secretariat

The council will also be supported by a group of international climate and energy experts. The international support group will be inaugurated by President Nasheed during his official visit to Britain next week.

On 15 March, President Nasheed announced plans for the Maldives to become the world’s first carbon neutral country. A switch from oil to 100% renewable energy production lies at the heart of the Maldives’ plan.

At today’s press conference, President Nasheed, Vice President Dr Mohamed Waheed and Environment Minister Mr Mohamed Aslam took questions from the media. Some members of the Climate Change Advisory Council were also present at the press conference.