COLOMBO, July 19 (Xinhua) -- Six developing nations participating in a climate change meeting in the Maldives have announced some of the toughest domestic carbon reduction targets in the world, the Maldivian Presidential Office said on Monday.
According to a press statement issued by the office, Antigua and Barbuda, Costa Rica, Ethiopia, the Maldives, the Marshall Islands and Samoa all pledged to slash greenhouse gas emissions and pursue green growth and development.
The meeting named "Cartagena Group/Dialogue for Progressive Action" was held over the weekend (Saturday and Sunday) at Bandos Island, near the Maldivian capital of Male.
During the meeting, Ethiopia commuted to becoming carbon neutral by 2025, Samoa by 2020, while the Marshall Islands pledged to cut its carbon dioxide emissions by 40 percent by 2020 from a 2009 base year.
The Prime Minister of Antigua and Barbuda Baldwin Spencer said his country aims to slash emissions by one quarter by 2020 from 1990 levels.
The Maldives and Costa Rica also reaffirmed their commitment to carbon neutrality by 2020 and 2021 respectively.
The countries affirmed their pledges during the meeting of developing and rich world countries who want strong international action on climate change.
The group provides an informal space open to all countries who want an ambitious outcome in the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and who are committed domestically to becoming or remaining low carbon.
Speaking at the end of the Maldives meeting, Maldivian President Mohamed Nasheed praised fellow developing countries for leading the world in reducing greenhouse gas emissions, which are responsible for climate change.
"These developing countries are pursuing low-carbon growth and green development because it is in their fundamental economic and security interests to do so," Nasheed said.
"When those with the least start doing the most, it shows that everyone's ambitions can be raised,"the president said.
Countries and organizations participating in the Cartagena Group/Dialog for Progressive Action include Antigua and Barbuda, Australia, Bangladesh, Belgium, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ethiopia, France, Germany, Ghana, Indonesia, Malawi, the Maldives, Marshall Islands, Mexico, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Peru, Samoa, Spain, Tanzania, Thailand, Timor-Leste, Uruguay, Britain and the European Commission.
Being an archipelago of almost 1,200 coral islands just 1.5 meters above sea level, the Maldives is grappling with the very likely possibility to go under water if the current pace of climate change keeps raising sea levels.