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President of the Maldives: End Oil Exploration

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President of the Maldives: End Oil Exploration


Why this is important

The Maldives, among the world’s most vulnerable countries to climate change, is now exploring for oil. This amounts to suicide.

The popular tourist destination generates over 80 percent of its revenue from biodiversity through its tourism and fisheries industries. Oil drilling, associated with oil spills, loss of biodiversity, irreversible environmental damage and loss of livelihoods, spells disaster for these industries.

Exploring for oil - while remaining the elected Chair of AOSIS, a group set up to advocate for the protection of island nations from climate change impacts - is an act of betrayal and utter hypocrisy. Especially since it comes at a time when the world is turning to renewable energy and committing to keeping fossil fuels in the ground to combat climate change and save low lying countries such as the Maldives.

At the same time, the Maldives has also announced it will levy a US$6 per head per day from tourists as a “green tax.” However, the parliament’s economic committee recently rejected a proposal requiring the government to spend green tax on green initiatives.

We, concerned citizens of the world, call on President Abdulla Yameen to immediately end oil exploration and commit funds collected from green tax to building the Maldives’ resilience to climate change.

Posted December 1, 2014
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