Урок английского языка с использованием технологии «Интернет»

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Some people may find it ironic that the Maldives, which emits just a tiny proportion of global carbon dioxide emissions, has set the most ambitious carbon reduction goals of any nation on Earth. To some, it may seem even odder that the Maldives has made such stringent environmental targets when it is also a relatively poor, developing country.

Conventional wisdom dictates that small, developing nations such as the Maldives should refuse to cut their greenhouse gas emissions. This wisdom suggests that we should be lobbying for permits to pollute more, while apportioning blame for climate change squarely on the shoulders of big, industrialized nations.

But I am skeptical of this conventional wisdom, and of finger-pointing at the West, for neither of these policy positions does anything to help solve the climate crisis.

And what a crisis climate change is. Scientists meeting in Copenhagen earlier this year warned that Arctic ice is melting quicker than anyone previously imagined possible.

Experts further cautioned that 85% of the Amazon rainforest will die if temperatures continue to soar. This week, the World Health Organization published a report which calculated that climate change is claiming the lives of a third of a million people every year.

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These warnings are particularly alarming for the Maldives, an Indian Ocean nation of tropical coral islands, just 1.5m above the sea. But climate change does not just threaten the Maldives, it threatens us all.

There is a growing consensus that, unless the world takes drastic action to slash carbon pollution, warming will tip beyond man's control, unleashing unprecedented global catastrophe.

This is why, on 15 March this year, the Maldives announced its plans to become the world's first carbon-neutral country in ten years. Our oil-fired power stations will be replaced with solar, wind and biomass plants; our waste will be turned into clean electricity through paralysis technology; and a new generation of boats will slash marine transport pollution. By 2020, the use of fossil fuels will be virtually eliminated in the Maldivian archipelago.

People often ask me why a country that contributes less than 0.1% of global greenhouse gas emissions should bother to go carbon neutral. After all, the Maldives' environmental efforts will not stop global warming if big polluters refuse to countenance all but token emissions reductions. One thing a small nation can do, however, is show the world that rapid reductions in emissions are possible, practical and profitable.

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Since announcing the carbon neutrality goal a little over two months ago, the Maldives has witnessed something of an environmental enlightenment. Dozens of foreign technology and energy companies have approached us, keen to set up pilot renewable energy projects in the islands.

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