President Solih commits to transition Maldives to renewable energy

President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih seen at the official event held on Ukulhas Island in the Alifu Alifu Atoll to commemorate World Environment Day 2023. | Photo: PO

On Monday, President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih emphasized the government’s aim to transform the Maldives into a country that prioritizes environmentally friendly energy production by shifting to renewable sources and reducing reliance on fossil fuels.

His comments were made during the official event held on Ukulhas Island in the Alifu Alifu Atoll to commemorate World Environment Day 2023.

In his speech, President Solih highlighted the administration’s remarkable accomplishments in advancing renewable energy sources and prioritizing eco-friendly energy generation. He acknowledged the significant progress made towards achieving net zero carbon emissions by 2023.

Over the past four years, the government has successfully increased solar panel electricity generation by 36 megawatts. The President emphasized that these initiatives have resulted in substantial savings of 17 million liters of fossil fuel, equivalent to MVR 270 million. Solar PV system installation projects are being implemented on 113 islands across the country.

President Solih also addressed the critical environmental issues facing the nation, including waste management, the prevalence of single-use plastics, and the urgent challenge of climate change.

He emphasized the government’s commitment to promoting sustainable waste management practices and reducing reliance on single-use plastics. The administration has implemented a comprehensive plan to phase out 13 types of single-use plastics and has successfully reduced imports of such plastics by 50 percent. These efforts demonstrate the administration’s dedication to tackling the major environmental concerns of waste management and single-use plastics in the country.

Regarding climate change, President Solih acknowledged the need to adapt to and mitigate its impact, recognizing it as a significant challenge. He outlined the allocation of funds from the Maldives Green Fund for specific projects aimed at environmental protection, conservation, human resource development, institutional strengthening, and research and development.

The President also highlighted the administration’s consideration of providing assistance to non-governmental organizations through the fund, illustrating the government’s commitment to supporting relevant initiatives.

During the event, the top three videos created for a competition centered around the World Environment Day theme of “Beat Plastic Pollution” were showcased. World Environment Day has been celebrated annually on June 5th since 1972, and this year marks its 50th anniversary.