Maldives’ Special Envoy for Climate Change Ms Sabra Ibrahim Noordeen delivered closing remarks this afternoon at the Pre-COP26 buzz event hosted by the Maldives in partnership with the UN in Maldives.

The event titled “Our Climate, Our Present, Our Future – A SIDS Perspective” was hosted by the Ministry of Environment, Climate Change and Technology (MECCT) in collaboration with UN in the Maldives, notably UNDP and the UNICEF in the Maldives. The event centered upon fostering partnerships and aimed at providing young people with an opportunity to make their voices heard on the Maldives’ road to climate resilience. It also addressed the issue of broader private sector representation in addressing climate change ahead of the COP26 in Glasgow, Scotland.

Speaking at the event, Ms Noordeen praised the important work carried out by UNICEF and the Ministry of Education, in incorporating climate change into the national curriculum.

In her remarks, Ms Noordeen stated that education; training and public awareness about the climate crisis is an essential aspect of the Paris Agreement and one that does not always get the attention it deserves. She underlined the importance of listening to young people express their frustrations, anxieties, demands and solutions about their future in a heating world. She stressed that at the core of these demands is the need for greater urgency and ambition in cutting carbon emissions, access to resources and funding for adaptation, and ensuring just transitions and that these demands should be heard, especially in the lead up to COP26. Ms Noordeen affirmed the need for young people to have more seats at the table, as policymakers, in essence, to institutionalise having young people at the heart of climate action and decision-making.

Ms Noordeen also highlighted how the importance of persistent advocacy in policy formulation citing the Government’s single use plastic phase out plan as a primary example.

Comparing Maldives’ carbon emissions to the global context, Ms. Noordeen stated that a radical shift to renewable energy will provide the Maldives the opportunity to build the resilience needed in the coming decades.

The Minister for Environment, Climate Change and Technology, Ms Aminath Shauna, the UNICEF Deputy Regional Director for South Asia, Ms. Sun Ah Kim Suh, the British High Commissioner for Maldives, Ms. Caron Rohsler, the UN Resident Coordinator a.i., Enrico Gaveglia, Ms. Catherine Haswell representing UNRC, and experts, business leaders and young people from the Maldives and other small islands developing states (SIDS), attended and addressed at today’s event.