President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih on Tuesday ratified the Climate Emergency Act and the National Payment System Bill.
The Climate Emergency Act (Act no. 10/2021) was passed by Parliament on April 29, 2021, during the 37th sitting of its first session.
Meanwhile, National Payment System Bill (Act No.: 6/2021) was passed on April 27, during the 35th sitting of the first session of 2021.
The Climate Emergency Act stipulates actions to address the climate emergency due to climate change and introduces the legal structure and guidelines for addressing issues and concerns related to it.
This includes climate reporting, ensuring the sustainability of natural resources, overcoming negative impacts and allocation of funds for renewable energy sources.
Additionally, a complete framework of Maldives' plan to achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2030. According to the plan, the Minister of Environment, Climate Change and Technology is mandated with submitting the subsequent year's national carbon budget to the Parliament for approval 3 months before the end of each year.
The plan further specified the Minister to constitute an office under the Ministry as 'Climate Change Directorate', which will be mandated with leading Maldives' interests in the international arena with regards to the climate emergency.
Moreover, this act charged the President to appoint a Special Envoy for Climate Change, who will serve as Maldives' international advocate against climate change, who would aid in creating diplomatic ties, strengthen multilateral relationships in alignment with climate goals and acquisition of foreign aid for projects related to climate change, environmental sustainability and renewable energy.
The appointment for Special Envoy has to be made within 30 days of the Act coming into force.
Making use of the existing national payment system, National Payment System Act looks into improving and governing the current operations.
The Act provided ways to establish interoperability amongst payment systems, clearing systems, instalment systems and relevant bodies that provide similar services.
Furthermore, the Act prioritises maintaining customer confidentiality and has a framework outlines to achieve this, and also aims to promote healthy competition amongst service providers.
The authority of overseeing and regulating the Act was conferred to the Maldives Monetary Authority (MMA), which MMA would also be responsible for enforcing the law.
Upon ratification, both Acts were published in the Government Gazette. Although the Climate Emergency Act comes into effect immediately, the National Payment System Act will come into effect four months from the date of ratification.