President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih highlighted on Monday the administration's objective to transition the Maldives into a nation that prioritises environmentally friendly energy generation by shifting towards renewable energy sources and reducing its reliance on fossil fuels. He made these remarks while speaking at the official function to commemorate World Environment Day 2023 on Ukulhas Island in the Alifu Alifu Atoll.
During his address at the function, President Solih highlighted the administration's notable achievements in advancing renewable energy sources and prioritising environmentally friendly energy generation. He acknowledged the significant progress made in the administration's pursuit of attaining net zero carbon emissions by 2023.
Over the past four years, the administration has successfully expanded solar panel electricity generation by 36 megawatts. The President highlighted that these initiatives have resulted in substantial savings of 17 million litres of fossil fuel, equivalent to MVR 270 million. The administration is implementing solar PV system installation projects on 113 islands throughout the country.
President Solih also addressed the prominent environmental issues and concerns confronting the nation. He highlighted waste management, the prevalence of single-use plastics, and the pressing challenge of climate change as the primary areas of concern for the Maldives.
The President highlighted the administration's commitment to promoting sustainable waste management practices and reducing the reliance on single-use plastics. He emphasised that the administration has implemented a comprehensive plan to phase out 13 types of single-use plastics and has successfully reduced single-use plastic imports by 50 per cent. These efforts demonstrate the administration's dedication to addressing the country's major environmental concerns of waste management and single-use plastics.
Regarding climate change, President Solih noted the need to adapt and mitigate its impact, acknowledging that it presents a significant challenge. He outlined the allocation of funds from the Maldives Green Fund for specific projects aimed at environmental protection and conservation, human resource development, institutional strengthening, and research and development.
The President also highlighted the administration's consideration of assisting non-governmental organisations through the fund, demonstrating the administration's commitment to supporting relevant initiatives.
The top three videos created for a competition, centred around the World Environment Day theme "Beat Plastic Pollution," were presented during the event. The annual celebration of World Environment Day has been observed on June 5th since 1972, and this year marks its 50th anniversary.