Unofficial transcript of Pres. Solih's statement at Climate Action Summit

Unofficial transcript of Pres. Solih's statement at Climate Action Summit

Moderator:there are no countries, as well all know, more vulnerable to the impacts of climate change than low lying atoll nations. President Solih, what can the Maldives and others do to ensure a safe and prosperous future?

President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih:Mr. Secretary General, Excellencies, ladies and gentlemen,

We come to these forums and reiterate the same points, that climate change is the defining issue of the 21st century. The failure to address it will endanger the planet’s health, and the lives of every generation that follows us. The science is irrefutable. We hope that the moral force of our argument is strong enough to finally compel the global community to take effective action, because we cannot compromise on our survival.

Ladies and gentlemen,

I am certain that other small island states present here today seek realistic solutions, just like us. This is precisely why Maldives has formulated a holistic plan encompassing achievable targets for small islands to address the risks of climate change. Our plan was further bolstered by the support we received from fellow members of the OASIS and SIDS, and other key development agencies to whom we remain grateful.

Our Climate Smart Resilient Islands Plan comprises deliverable targets around 11 key areas, including designation of environmentally protected areas, installation of new technology, establishing inter-island connectivity, safeguarding, food and water security, promoting green tourism, ensuring climate resilient infrastructure, transitioning to renewable energy and sustainable waste management among others.

This plan outlines my vision for the Maldivian people. The pledges are realistic and achievable, and prioritizes building a sustainable society, in harmony with our fragile ecosystem. We intend to conserve eco-rich areas, phase out single-use plastic, rapidly transit to renewable energy in the transportation and tourism sectors. We have committed ourselves to a timeline with each target, and we fully intend to implement these while according full consideration to inter-generational partnerships, gender equality and the role of youth.

I call upon other SIDS to replicate our model to achieve a post-carbon economy and climate smart development pathway that will in turn safeguard our people from climate associated risks in the future.

However, to realize this initiative and for this to grow, finance needs to be made available. In 2010, a goal was set to make USD 100 billion of financing available for developing countries by 2020. We are in September 2019 and 2020 is just a few months away. It is with great regret I note that the realization of finance for that target is very below expectation. Among the available finance, the share is less for vulnerable communities like the SIDS. Access to finance needs to change for the better.

You have heard our concerns. We have told you about the measures that we intend to take. We are now asking you to do your due diligence. We are asking you to do better, to do more.

Thank you.