The Maldives put their signature on the Kyoto Protocol on March 16, 1998. They ratified this on December 30, 1998. This went into force of February 16, 2005. The Maldives are a developing state and is vulnerable to climate change and particularly sea level rise. They have encouraged other states to ratify the Kyoto Protocol themselves. They have engaged in meetings and campaigned for a greater attention to climate change. They have a very active role in the policy considering they will be one of the states effected most by climate change. They have tried to reduce emissions themselves while strongly encouraging ratification of the protocol. Back in 2001, Minister of Environment Ismail Shafeeu called out the United States as the world’s leader in emissions of carbon dioxide, saying that they need to take better action to reduce their emissions. The Maldives wanted the U.S. to ratify the protocol with the belief in mind that if the U.S. signed it, then other nations would follow. President Bush did not bite stating that he would not agree to something which would harm the economy of the United States. (CNN, 2001)
The above article can be found at: http://articles.cnn.com/2001-07-12/world/maldives.kyoto_1_greenhouse-gas-michael-zammit-cutajar-carbon-dioxide?_s=PM:asiapcf
The Maldives in December of 2009 implemented a new tourist tax to help fund climate change mitigation efforts. They are using their main attraction, tourism, to take in $3 per day from any tourist visiting the islands. (McDermott, 2009) This tax is a very promising idea despite tourism rates being lower than usual, if someone is visiting the Maldives I think that they will hardly notice paying an extra $21 or so. With how big the tourism industry is there this is their best way of getting raising money toward cleaner energy. Renewable energy Maldives.com is a website dedicated to providing clean energy products to the Maldives. The Maldives are without flowing rivers or streams so the only practical sources of renewable energy will be solar and wind. Below is an image of a solar energy plant in the Maldives.
The image and an article summarizing a 100% renewable energy plan in the Maldives can be found by clicking this link:
An article discussing the tourist tax: http://www.treehugger.com/corporate-responsibility/maldives-plans-tourist-tax-to-fund-climate-change-mitigation-efforts.html
The Maldives have implemented the aforementioned $3 per day tourist tax. They have also declared themselves to be the first carbon neutral country by 2020. They economic incentives for mitigation are all the incentive the Maldives need to make committed efforts towards slowing down global warming in particular sea level rise. The tourism industry is the main thing they have economically. If bleaching of coral reefs continues at this rate, they will be a less likely destination for tourism which will put people out of jobs and their economy will suffer. More importantly however, nearly 99% of the island nation is underwater as it is one of the lowest lying countries in the world. This means that it would take just a one meter rise in sea level to destroy the homes of 385,000 people and render much of the small islands uninhabitable. The Maldives have all the incentive they need to make a conscious effort to reduce emissions and slow down global warming but they cannot do it alone. Their feeling is that a large country like the U.S. needs to take action to reduce their emissions. The U.S. needs to put its name on a policy to reduce CO2 emissions in hope that other countries will follow along. If not, many peoples lives could be at stake in the future.