Around 80% of the Maldives could become uninhabitable by 2050 if current rates of global warming continue, according to scientists and the island nation’s president.
Quoting US space agency NASA and the US Geological Survey, US network ABC reported that sea-level rise due to global climate change is an “existential threat” to the archipelago chain.
Addressing the ongoing UN Climate Change Conference (COP26) earlier this week, Maldives President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih said: “If we do not reverse this trend, the Maldives will cease to exist by the end of this century.”
Citing the country’s former President Mohammed Nasheed, a leading voice on climate change, ABC News reported that more than 90% of islands in the Maldives are suffering from severe erosion, and 97% of the country no longer has fresh groundwater.
Also citing Aminath Shauna, the Maldives' environment, climate change, and technology minister, ABC reported: “Things that we thought would happen towards the end of the century, we are experiencing now.”
Noting more than 50% of the nation’s budget is spent on adapting to climate change, Shauna also said this would lead Maldivians to migrate.