China presents the biggest threat to the people of Maldives, says the United States’ Secretary of State, Michael Pompeo.
Pompeo arrived in the Maldives for a brief visit on Wednesday afternoon, where he engaged in official talks with the country’s president, Ibrahim Mohamed Solih and Minister of Foreign Affairs Abdulla Shahid, even having announced America’s decision to open its first-ever resident embassy in Malé City.
During his visit, Pompeo sat down with RaajjeTV for an exclusive interview, where he stated that the Paris Climate Agreement, “is a joke”, in response to a question, whether or not he believed that withdrawing from the Paris Agreement, was the right move.
As such, the U.S. Secretary of State revealed that countries that have signed onto the Paris Agreement “have no intention” of actually complying with it.
Taking China as an example, Pompeo stressed that the country is the “biggest polluter” in the region and presents “the biggest threat” to the Maldivian people as well as the country’s economic growth.
He said that one ‘need not look further than Beijing and its surrounding environment’, when looking at the greatest risk of increasing the amount of carbon dioxide emissions in the region.
In light of this the U.S Secretary of State highlighted that America can be trusted with that, as the country has reduced carbon dioxide emissions “dramatically”, in spite of having withdrawn from the agreement.
Look, we did it the way democracies do it. We did it with creativity, we did it with innovation, we did it because it makes sense for our people to do”
~ Michael Pompeo, U.S. Secretary of State
Pompeo highlighted that this is why the visit to Maldives has proven to be an important one, as it is two democracies working for a "shared vision”.
This is how things like changes in weather patterns as well as all of the elements of our relationship are handled, said Pompeo, who added that every strand of the security relationship and this that matter to the Maldives will “work better” when they are working alongside a “good friend" like the United States and a “fellow democracy”.
Established with the common cause to boost global response to the looming threats of climate change, especially to low-lying islands, the Paris Climate Agreement has the purpose of enhancing support to assist developing countries to combat impacts of climate change. It aims to keep a global temperature rise below two degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels and to encourage efforts to limit increasing temperatures to 1.5 degrees Celsius.
The United States withdrew from the agreement in June 2017, which was met with heavy criticism. Maldives ex-President and incumbent Speaker of the People’s Majlis Mohamed Nasheed stated that Trump’s negation from the Paris Agreement is a “death sentence" to the Maldives, as a low-lying island state.