Making an emotional pitch, Maldives President Mohammad Nasheed on Sunday said his countrymen do not wish to trade their paradise for a climate refugee camp and asked developed nations to clinch an effective climate change pact at Copenhagen in December.
"Maldives has been in existence for 5000 years. We have a written history of more than 2,000 years and we do not want to trade our paradise for a climate refugee camp," Nasheed said addressing a climate change conference in New Delhi.
Terming Maldives as a "frontline" state in the fight against climate change, he said the global warming posed "a clear and present danger to our existence".
The threat to the Maldives in not vague or abstract, Nasheed said adding that a mere 1.5 degree Celsius increase in global temperatures would submerge his low-lying country and "kill our people".
"What happens to the Maldives today happens to the rest of world tomorrow," he warned and urged urgent action to tackle the threat.
"The developing world did not do this. We are not responsible for this. At the same time we cannot consider this as someone else's problem," Nasheed said calling for swift, collective action.
"Whether we like it or not we are all in this together," he said.