President Mohamed Nasheed, in his address to the Inter-Parliamentary Union, has called for stronger parliamentary action to address climate change. He noted that IPU and parliamentarians around the world have a crucial role to play in this great issue.

“On matters of defense and foreign policy, heads of state are in charge. But on the climate change issues of energy policy, transport and waste management, often parliament is more powerful”, said the President.

In his speech, the President reiterated his view that without democracy and good governance, countries cannot have successful climate change adaptation.

Stating that climate change was the “greatest issue facing humanity”, the President said for low-lying countries like the Maldives, the issue was “a clear and present danger to our survival”.

In his speech, the President also spoke on ongoing climate talks at Copenhagen. He said that some major emitting countries were pledging to hold the temperature rises to 2 degrees, such a rise would be catastrophic for countries like the Maldives.

“Two degrees of warming spells death for the Maldives and a billion people in low-lying areas”, said the President.

However, he said that AOSIS group and the Least Developed Countries have proposed measures to halt temperature rises to 1.5 degrees, and carbon pollution to 350 parts per million.

Underlining the Maldives’s plan to go carbon neutral, the President said that “countries that have the foresight to green their economies today will be the winners of tomorrow”.

“When leaders set out a clear vision; individuals, investors and entrepreneurs follow”, added the President.