Scotland is helping the Maldives in its bid to become carbon neutral by 2020.
The government of the low-lying islands fears it could be among the first to fall victim to rising sea levels linked to climate change.
It is working with Robert Gordon University in Aberdeen to examine the potential for wave, tidal and ocean thermal energy for the country.
The 48,000 project to map out marine renewables potential was announced by enterprise minister Jim Mather, who is in Cancun, Mexico, as part of the UN climate change talks.
Mather said: “Scotland is making a big difference for a small country. The Maldives aims to be carbon neutral within 10 years and this study will use our low-carbon expertise to help the Maldives meet the challenges of climate change.”
He said the Cancun visit will help promote Scotland’s commitment to working with developing countries to adapt to climate change.
Maldives environment minister Mohamed Aslam said the project will help his country meet its aims.