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The European Union signed its first Financing Agreement of EUR 5 million with the Government of Maldives, emphasizing its commitment to continue and strengthen cooperation on climate change. The European Union will support the Government in implementing its Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC), pledged by the Government in fulfilling the obligations under the Paris Agreement in 2015.
The Agreement was signed in the margins of Maldives' Partnership Forum by EU Ambassador to Sri Lanka and the Maldives, H.E. Tung-Lai Margue and Minister of Finance Hon. Ibrahim Ameer, in the presence of the Hon. Minister of Environment, Dr Hussain Rasheed Hassan.
Ambassador Margue, reaffirming the EU's role as a like-minded partner in the global fight against the adverse impacts of climate change, said "The EU welcomes the opportunity to assist the Government of Maldives in fulfilling its international commitments, while supporting its citizens in adapting and building a climate resilient economy and society. The use of renewable energy resources will not only reduce greenhouse gas emissions, but will have important energy security co-benefits, as it will help Maldives move away from an overreliance on fossil fuel imports, which makes the country highly vulnerable to global fuel price fluctuations".
Maldives remains one of the most vulnerable countries to climate change pressures, and its communities face an existential threat on a daily basis.
Minister Ameer thanked the European Union for the generous assistance and stated that this assistance will be a great contribution towards the ongoing “Preparing Outer Islands for Sustainable Energy Development” (POISED) project in Maldives, in implementation of solar diesel battery hybrid systems in two of the atolls."
The Project will be implemented by the Ministry of Environment as part of the pledge for Maldives to lead towards a low carbon economy. The EU's funding, which falls under the Global Climate Change Alliance + Programme, will co-finance the on-going POISED project and will equip approximately 15 - 20 islands with hybrid PV-diesel systems to meet at least 30% of their daytime peak demand, thereby significantly reducing the requirement for diesel to generate electricity in the outer islands. "Certainly, this will speed up the implementation of the Maldives NDC and to achieve the low carbon development goals therein. I thank the EU for hearing us out and working with the Ministry of Environment to realize this", says Minister Hassan.
Significant financial resources are needed to implement the Paris Agreement and help developing countries deal with climate change. The EU, its Member States and the European Investment Bank are together the biggest contributor of public climate finance to developing countries, giving EUR 20.4 billion in 2017 alone.