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We are living through a climate emergency: Environment Minister

Shahudha Mohamed
11 December 2019, MVT 16:43
Minister of Environment Dr Hussain Rasheed Hassan delivering remarks at the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP 25) hosted by the Chilean government with support from Spain. PHOTO: ENVIRONMENT MINISTRY
Shahudha Mohamed
11 December 2019, MVT 16:43

Minister of Environment Dr Hussain Rasheed Hassan declared on Tuesday that "we are living through a climate emergency" and it is without a doubt, "time for action".

He delivered these remarks at the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP 25) hosted by the Chilean government, with support from Spain.

Citing the science-based IPCC 1.5 Special Report, Minister Hussain declared that as much as 70 to 90 or 99 percent of Maldives' coral reefs will be destroyed in less than 10 years from now if world leaders collectively fail to take appropriate action.

The Minister noted that as such, Maldivian islands are set to face catastrophic erosion and flooding, in addition to the irreversible negative impacts on tourism and fisheries industries.

"Yes, we are all concerned, but that's not enough. We need action too", the Minister announced.

"If we honour our commitments and be honest with ourselves, staying within the 1.5 degree Celcius limit of global warming is still possible".

Speaking of the financial challenges, Minister Hussain stated that increased ambitions, in terms of NDC's are meaningless if not backed up by financing.

"Small islands like us are already paying immense resources of our own, towards the implementation of our NDCs, in order to achieve our mitigation and adaptation targets", he said.

"In the Maldives, as much as 20 percent of our public sector investment programme for next year is on climate adaptation and mitigation. This shows our high level of commitment".

Minister Hussain called for the international community to maintain the momentum towards fulfilling the climate finance pledge of USD 100 billion, ensure that we agree on concrete implementable actions that will overcome the climate catastrophe, resolve the issues relating to markets and maintain the multilateral framework that we have all embarked on.

"Given the circumstances that we are in, we cannot simply ignore the reality of today, and hope that time will solve this problem for us".

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