About

Maldives joined the Coalition in 2012 to complement its pursuit of a low-emission climate development plan. Maldives is among the world’s most low-lying countries and is highly vulnerable to sea level rise and extreme weather events caused by climate change. Despite the country itself being a miniscule contributor (0.003%) to global emissions, Maldives leads by example in both climate mitigation and adaptation.    

Maldives moves to protect its clear blue skies

Maldives moves to protect its clear blue skies
Video: Maldives moves to protect its clear blue skies

“As a nation of widely-dispersed islands, our geography presents a number of particular challenges in areas with direct impacts on both climate change and air pollution— energy supply, solid waste management, and transport. Economies of scale and sheer upfront investment costs are stacked against us. But, we remain undeterred, and are working towards the twin goals of better air quality and climate change mitigation, both of which protect our population’s health and environment, with investments both from our national budget as well as through international assistance," said Mr. Abdullahi Majeed, Minister of State for Environment and Energy.

In 2019, Maldives’ first National Action Plan on Air Pollutants was launched, integrating existing plans to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and air quality. The plan outlines 28 mitigation measures across three priority source sectors: waste, electricity generation, and transport. If implemented fully, the plan would result in a 40 percent reduction of black carbon, 27 percent reduction of nitrogen oxides, and 59 percent reduction in direct fine particulate matter emissions by 2030 compared to baseline scenarios. This was the first time air pollutant reductions had been quantified for measures originally developed to reduce greenhouse gases in the country. The plan has additionally demonstrated that meeting international climate change commitments can provide substantial local benefits to Maldivians.  

Maldives is actively driving international action for climate change and is itself taking action that benefits both the climate and air quality. One priority area for the country is the transport sector, with cars older than five years banned from being imported and only motorcycles with a certain engine capacity allowed into the country. Further, electric vehicles are allowed into the Maldives tax-free, while petrol and diesel vehicles face a 200 percent import duty. Sea-ferry operators in Malé City have coordinated routes to avoid congestion and reduce idle time at sea. The largest ferry operator, the Maldives Transport and Contracting Company, have also made efforts to maximize the distance travelled per litre of diesel in their vessels by establishing practices such as cruising at optimum speeds. To reduce overall passenger vehicle use, Maldives’ 2015 Second National Environment Plan focuses on increasing public transport, bicycle lanes, and footpaths.  

In 2018, Maldives began developing a Standard Labelling Programme detailing the energy consumption and efficiency of electric appliances and incorporating energy efficiency measures into the building code. To further advance its commitment to phase out hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), Maldives worked with the CCAC on a feasibility study for district cooling, a more efficient and sustainable alternative to traditional air conditioners that use HFCs as refrigerants. The study found that district cooling could reduce energy use by 20 percent and promote low Global Warming Potential HFC alternative technology.  

Maldives established the Alliance of Small Island States and as its first Chair. Maldives also leads the Climate Smart Resilient Islands Initiative on behalf of numerous island nations working towards more sustainable transport, tourism, and food practices.  

Read below for more highlights of Maldives’ work. 

CCAC activities

Workstream | HFC
Ongoing
HFCs have a wide range of uses, including in foams, refrigeration, and aerosols, and manufacturers tend to use well-known existing technology solutions that currently are not as climate-friendly as...
Activity | Health
Ongoing
BreatheLife is a global campaign that mobilizes cities and individuals to take action on air pollution to protect our health and the planet. The campaign is led by the World Health Organization (WHO...
BreatheLife

Other activities

Policies and Plans 

  • National Action Plan on Air Pollutants 2019: Maldives passed the first action plan on air pollution, including 28 specific mitigation measures in the Plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in three major air pollution source sectors: electricity generation, transport, and waste. 22 of the 28 are included in Maldives’ Nationally Determined Contribution. 
  • Maldives Energy Policy and Strategy 2016 established various policy measures and programs being implemented focused on increasing the share of renewable energy in the energy mix and mainstreaming energy efficiency into development activities.   
  • Maldives Climate Change Policy Framework 2015 is the principle policy document that addresses climate change issues in the country, with the vision ‘to recognize the status of Maldives as a nation suffering from the adverse impacts of climate change and to build its capacity to ensure a safe, sustainable, resilient and prosperous future’ 
  • From 2016-2025, the Health Master Plan aims to ensure the nation’s participation in quality health services through monitoring the health impacts of climate change and develop strategies to address emerging health issues. 
  • The National Solid Waste Management Policy of 2015 aims to manage waste effectively through building awareness on waste management and establishing Waste Management Centres in all inhabited islands in the country. 

Transport 

  • In 2014, Maldives’ Transport Authority introduced import bans on cars older than five years and motorcycles with reduced engine capacity. There is also an age limit of vehicles on the road, where taxis should not be older than 25 years. 
  • In 2014, the import duty on petrol and diesel vehicles was increased to 200 percent, whereas electric vehicles entered the country without facing an import duty. 

Air Quality 

  • Greater Malé has been a BreatheLife member since 2018 with a particular focus on transport, energy supply, and solid waste management.   

Energy 

Energy Efficiency and HFCs 

  • For the period of 2015 to 2018, the Strengthening Low-Carbon Energy Island Strategies (LCEI) aims to mainstream energy efficiency measures into housing policies, guidelines, standards and building practices. 
  • In 2017, The Maldivian parliament approved the ratification of the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol, an international agreement to reduce the global production and use of HFCs. 
  • In 2015, Maldives banned CFCs and targeted a 10% reduction in HFCs
  • In 2015, the ‘FAHI-ALI’ (Prosperous Light) programme was created to distribute LED lights to the general public to increase energy efficiency. 
  • In 2015, Maldives introduced the Standard Labelling Programme which established energy efficiency labelling for air conditioners, washing machines and refrigerators, as well as incorporates energy efficiency standards into building codes.  

Waste 
   

Related resources

Address

Ministry of the Environment, Sanitation and Sustainable Development, Ameenee Magu, Maafannu
Male 20392
Maldives
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