Climate change not only poses a development challenge, but an existential threat for Maldives and many other Small Island Developing States.
Climate change is a foreign policy priority of Maldives.
The Maldives contributes less than 0.01% of global carbon emissions, yet the country is among the first to face disproportionate effects of climate change.
Priorities of the Government on Climate Change
- The administration of President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih intends to increase Maldives’ share of renewable energy through policy interventions as part of achieving energy policy goals and targets.
- Maldives’ climate change agenda comprises of five overarching policy goals:
- Ensure and integrate sustainable financing into climate change adaptation and low emission development measures;
- Strengthen a low emission development future and ensure energy security for the Maldives;
- Strengthen adaptation actions and opportunities and built climate-resilient infrastructure and communities to address current and future vulnerabilities;
- Inculcate national, regional and international climate change advocacy roles in leading international negotiations and awareness in cross-sectoral areas in favour of the most vulnerable and SIDS;
- Foster sustainable development while ensuring security, economic sustainability, and sovereignty from the negative consequences of the changing climate.
National Efforts undertaken to tackle Climate Change
- President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih launched the Climate Smart Resilient Island Initiative at the UN Climate Action Summit in 2019, introducing a way to increase resilience and reduce vulnerabilities. The Maldives’ model, ‘Climate Smart Resilient Islands Initiative’, encompasses a holistic set of pragmatic and feasible measures for the resilience of SIDS to the adverse impacts of climate change.
- President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih ratified the Climate Emergency Act (Act no. 9/2021) on 18 May 2021. The Bill was passed by the Parliament at the 37th sitting of its first session, on Thursday, 29th April 2021. The Act further includes the complete framework for Maldives' ambitious plan to achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2030.
UNFCCC Conference of Parties
- Climate Change negotiations primarily take place under the auspices of United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). In these discussions, the Maldives is represented by the Ministry of Environment, Climate Change and Technology and negotiates through the Alliance of Small Island States and the Group of 77 and China.
- The Maldives developed and submitted its NDC to the UNFCCC in September 2015. In this NDC Maldives has committed to reduce the national greenhouse gas (GHG) emission by 10% of its Business As Usual (BAU) by 2030. The NDC also stated Maldives can reduce national GHG emission by an additional 14% of the BAU by 2030 subjected to availability of donor assistance. Maldives NDC also included climate change adaptation actions which are planned to be achieved by 2030.
- In the updated NDC Maldives made ambitious plans to reduce 26% of the emissions by 2030. Maldives also stated that the aim is to achieve net zero by 2030, with adequate international support and assistance.
- At COP 27, Maldives worked to ensure the establishment of the loss and damage fund and is now working with partners to ensure their full support in operationalizing the loss and damage fund and provide support to the people already facing the worst effects of climate change. The Minister of State for Environment, Climate Change and Technology, Ms. Khadeeja Naseem, is a member of the Transitional Committee on the operationalization of the loss and damage fund.
- At COP27 Maldives also urged states to revise their NDCs with more ambitious targets, urged developed countries to fully deliver USD 100 billion per year and called on partner countries to double adaptation finance.
- Therefore, Maldives COP28 priorities include operationalizing the loss and damage financing facility, completing the Glasgow-Sharm El-Sheikh work programme on adaptation and finalizing the work on the Global Goal on Adaptation.