Support for climate neutrality strategy
Title: Support for the climate neutrality strategy of the Maldives
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety (BMUB)
Lead executing agency: Ministry of Environment and Energy (MEE)
Overall term: 2011 to 2015
The Maldives, a group of islands located in the Indian Ocean, has 395,000 inhabitants and consists of 1,196 islands with a total land area of a mere 299 square kilometres .
Although the Maldives accounts for only 0.01 per cent of global greenhouse gas emissions, the issue of climate change is still at the top of its political agenda. The vast majority of the islands are only one to one-and-a-half metres above sea level. As a result, the rise in the sea level impacts the small country directly.
In March 2009, the President of the Maldives at the time, Mohamed Nasheed, announced the objective of making his country climate-neutral by 2020. In January 2010, this national mitigation target was submitted to the UNFCCC Secretariat as a National Appropriate Mitigation Action (NAMA) under the Copenhagen Accord. Following a change of government in 2013, the climate policy of the previous regime was adopted by the new administration. The increased use of renewable energies is still a priority.
The climate neutrality strategy of the Maldives has generated much attention around the world. In serving as the chair of the Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS) until 2017 and representing the organisation at the 2015 UN Climate Change Conference in Paris (COP21), the country will play a prominent international role in the years to come.
Public institutions and private stakeholders in the Maldives have the skills and expertise necessary to devise comprehensive strategies for minimising harmful greenhouse gas emissions and to take appropriate action.
In order to achieve climate neutrality, the Maldives intends to use renewable energies and climate-friendly technologies extensively. For this reason, employees working in the private sector and for authorities must have the requisite knowledge. Together with a local partner, the project is showcasing the installation of renewable energy technologies for producing electricity, as well as introducing measures to boost energy efficiency for demonstration and education purposes. These feature projects help plan and implement the national strategy to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions.
Local professionals and decision-makers from the public and private sector are being qualified and networked with one another using seminars, training courses and the promotion of in-depth exchange. The project is advising the Ministry of Environment and Energy as it draws up a roadmap for mitigating greenhouse gas emissions.
Diesel-solar-hybrid systems have been built on two pilot islands and handed over to local operators. As a result, over 44,000 kilowatt hours were fed into the local island grid on Kudahuvadhoo in a two-month period; on Ungoofaaru, this figure amounted to nearly 34,000 kilowatt hours in around two-and-a-half months. Consequently, almost 26,500 litres of diesel were saved. The operators on both islands adapted their processes and maintenance procedures by providing training and technical documents.
By the end of 2014, the port lighting on the pilot islands will be converted to energy-efficient LED technology. The same applies to lighting along a representative stretch of road in the capital city, Malé.
The project team is currently drawing up an action plan together with the Ministry of Environment and Energy that will bring the country closer to its objective of climate neutrality. By the end of 2014, the ministry will have coordinated the plan with various donors and other ministries so that it is ready for the legislative phase by March 2015. The ministry has already implemented one measure on the energy-efficient use of air-conditioners.
Various measures to raise awareness and provide continuing training, as well as networking at international conferences, have led to the relevant stakeholders in the partner country gaining further qualifications, and have created new contacts in the field of climate neutrality around the world. This will allow the government to improve its international position on climate issues.