His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the United Arab Emirates,
Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,
I extend my gratitude to the UAE for its exceptional hospitality, and inclusive, strong leadership.
The Maldives pledges its full support to ensure COP28 and the UAE Presidency is a resounding success.
We also congratulate Egypt for its successful COP Presidency.
I took office as President of the Maldives just 15 days ago. Promising to protect our national interests. Promising a prosperous future for every Maldivian. A promise I intend to do everything in my power to keep.
I did so, knowing there are things beyond the control of my small nation. One such issue is climate change.
On behalf of our people, allow me to outline our expectations for COP28:
First, the Global Stocktake must commit to a plan that corrects our course towards a 1.5-degree pathway, in line with the Paris Agreement
It must be based on equity and the best available science.
And it must inform the next set of more ambitious NDCs.
Second, we must close the climate finance gap.
We’ve been repeating this message every year.
Yet we are still far from reaching this goal.
We need new, adequate, and predictable finance for ambitious climate action, with priority for adaptation.
The global financial architecture also needs a major overhaul. In a world where the climate is changing faster than ever, we cannot wait to overcome red tape. To prove bankability. To demonstrate viability.
Accessibility must be improved. And assessment criteria must be revised.
And finally, I’m delighted by the decision taken yesterday to operationalise the Loss and Damage Fund.
I thank our host, the UAE, for leading the way, and other countries following suit, in making substantial pledges to the Fund. I’m confident many more will follow suit.
In our island nations, every coral, every grain of sand, every fish, and every palm tree, carry value.
Their loss is a loss to our economy. For our country.
We need habitable ecosystems to support our lives and livelihoods. To rebuild them from rapid and slow onset events that damage them.
We hope the Fund will be fit for purpose. And easily accessible to those who need it the most.
Responding to your call for greater mitigation ambition, my government aims to install renewable energy systems that can meet thirty three per cent of the country’s electricity demand in the next five years. Currently it stands at four percent. To achieve that, we aim to raise at least 600 million dollars. We could do that only with your support.
Building resilience of our islands is a priority. As such, we pledge to embark on a five million trees project across the country.
As a father, I have a responsibility to my children. To their future.
As a leader, I have a responsibility to my people.
As a global citizen, I have a responsibility to my planet.
As do all of you.
Let us ensure that our deliberations and our actions lead to concrete outcomes; that allow us to fulfil our responsibilities.
For people and for the planet. For our children and their children after them.
Let us secure a brighter future for us all.
I thank you.