President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih has reaffirmed his administration’s commitment to prioritise environmentally friendly energy generation and transition the nation towards renewable energy sources, while reducing reliance on fossil fuels.

Speaking at an official function on Ukulhas Island, Alifu Alifu Atoll, on Monday to commemorate World Environment Day 2023, President Solih highlighted the notable achievements made in advancing renewable energy and emphasised the pressing environmental concerns facing the country.

He highlighted his government’s progress in expanding solar panel electricity generation, which has seen a significant increase of 36 megawatts over the past four years. These initiatives have resulted in substantial savings, with 17 million litres of fossil fuel, equivalent to MVR 270 million, being conserved. The government is currently implementing solar photovoltaic system installation projects on 113 islands across the Maldives.

In his address, President Solih addressed the prominent environmental issues the nation faces, focusing on waste management, the prevalence of single-use plastics, and the urgent challenge of climate change. According to the government, a comprehensive plan has been implemented to phase out 13 types of single-use plastics, resulting in a 50 percent reduction in single-use plastic imports.

Regarding the issue of climate change, President Solih acknowledged the need to adapt and mitigate its impact, recognising it as 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.

As part of the World Environment Day celebrations, three videos were presented during the event as part of a competition centered around the theme “Beat Plastic Pollution.” This year’s observance marks the 50th anniversary of the annual event, which has been held on June 5th since 1972.