Minister of Environment, Climate Change and Technology, Her Excellency Aminath Shauna,
Executive Secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, Her Excellency Patricia Espinosa,
Honourable Ministers and delegates,
Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen;
A very good morning, and welcome to the Maldives.
It gives me great pleasure to be here today to speak to you all as we start building momentum towards implementing the work programme on the Global Goal on Adaptation.
The world is experiencing a number of global challenges - from pandemics to regional conflicts. Many of these global challenges can already be linked to climate change, the scale and impact of the consequences of inaction against the climate emergency will be unprecedented.
The Maldives is one of the lowest lying nations in the world. What that means in terms of resilience to climate change is immediately evident as you fly over our beautiful nation.
To those who live in the Maldives and other small islands states, the vulnerability of our lives and livelihoods to rising sea levels, warming oceans, and the high levels of investment and logistics required to adapt to a heating world is uncomfortably clear. Despite this, adaptation does not receive the political attention it warrants, nor does it garner levels of financial investment commensurate with the scale of challenge.
As His Excellency President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih stated at the UN General Assembly last year, “the difference between 1.5 degrees and 2 degrees is a death sentence for the Maldives.”
That is why meetings like these are important and necessary. To build momentum before the world gathers again in Sharm al – Sheikh in November, to demonstrate that the commitments made in Paris and Glasgow will be implemented and translated into policy, to convey the need for urgent action and most importantly, to contextualise the crucial need for adaptation, and why it is in all of our interest to build resilience.
Maldivians want to remain in the Maldives. We want to continue to fish, play, work and live in our home, and we want to be involved in seeking solutions that allow us to do so. These solutions include easing access to climate finance and technology, building of resilience, and adaptive capacity that addresses sustainable development and reduces inequality. The most vulnerable in the world cannot afford any further delays to these solutions. The science has never been clearer. The battle to keep the 1.5 degrees goal alive will be won or lost within this decade.
I encourage you to keep this in mind, as you have your discussions over the next two days.
Thank you for taking the time to be here today. I hope your conversations are engaging, productive and rooted in the hope of just climate action.
Climate crisis is an emergency. Every emergency needs immediate response. We have no time and it is time for action.
Once again, thank you very much for taking your time out of your busy schedule to be here in this beautiful island nation and to spend some time with us.