Statement delivered by H.E. Mariyam Manarath Muneer, Deputy Minister of Finance, Maldives
V20 MINISTERIAL DIALOGUE X
16 April 2023
H.E. Mariyam Manarath Muneer, Deputy Minister of Finance, Maldives
As a founding member of the V20, the Maldives is proud to remain on the frontlines in the battle against climate change. Despite contributing less than 0.01% of global carbon emissions, the government of Maldives increased spending on climate change adaptation and mitigation by 3,210% since 2011 to 2022, spending a total of 587 million dollars during this period. This demonstrates not only a strong commitment towards taking climate action and fulfilling our Nationally-Determined Contributions towards our net zero target by 2030, but also the rapid rise in our spending requirements due to the effects of climate change.
As a Small Island Developing State, our national budgetary resources are simply not enough to meet this growing climate demands. It is evident that climate-related risks factor heavily into long-term fiscal sustainability, not only our spending needs for climate change mitigation, adaptation, and loss and damage increasing exponentially each year but the negative effect of climate change and vital sources of revenue and growth for vulnerable countries cannot be understated. For example, the rising sea levels, increasing extreme weather events, and the loss of natural attractions and biodiversity can impact the tourism industry, which is a significant source of revenue and employment in many countries, including the Maldives.
With the world still reeling from the socio-economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, with elevated levels of debt distress and tightened fiscal space worldwide, it is critical that global resources are allocated towards sustainable and economically-transformative solutions. Failure to act now will have significant and irreversible economic and social costs to us all and threatens to reverse the hard-earned progress that has been made towards achieving Sustainable Development Goals.
It is clear to us that climate vulnerability has still not been accurately factored into the resource allocation policies of MDBs and other major lenders. We must develop standardized climate risk assessment tools and methodologies that are in harmony with the views of the vulnerable countries that are most directly affected by climate change. We welcome the Global Shield Initiative by the V20 to provide the much-needed financial protection against climate risk for vulnerable countries.
Additionally, through the use of innovative and cost-efficient solutions to incentivize and unlock private sector capital with credit guarantees enhancement and other de-risking measures, we can also encourage greater participation of domestic private financial markets. To conclude, as President Nasheed said, we must invest in hope.