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For Maldives, climate deal is a survival issue

PORT OF SPAIN (Reuters) – For Maldives President Mohamed Nasheed, the cold scientific numbers of the climate debate add up to the very survival of his tropical Indian Ocean state.

If global temperatures rise just 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit), “we won’t be around, we will be underwater,” he told Reuters in Trinidad and Tobago, where he and other leaders of the 53-nation Commonwealth pledged support for a definitive climate deal in Copenhagen next month.

World leaders seeking to thrash out a binding global treaty to curb greenhouse gas emissions and limit global warming cite an estimate by scientists that the world must limit average global warming to 2 degrees Celsius to avoid dangerous climate change, such as rising sea levels and flooding.

Nasheed tells his fellow heads of state that 2 degrees Celsius warming would risk swamping the sand-rimmed coral atolls and islets, dotted with palm trees and mangrove clumps, that form his small country.


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