High Level Event at the 72nd Session of the United Nations General Assembly on Ratification of the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol

Statement by His Excellency Mr Ibrahim Thoriq, Minister of Environment and Energy

Monday, September 18, 2017 at 6:30 p.m.

United Nations Headquarters in New York, Conference Room 11



Let me begin by thanking the Minister of Natural Resources of the Republic of Rwanda, Dr. Vincent Biruta and the Minister of Environment and Climate Change of Canada, The Honourable Catherine McKenna for convening this important high level event on the ratification of the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol.

For small islands, action to address climate change under the Montreal Protocol are of the utmost importance. This is evidenced by the fact that three of the countries that have already ratified the Kigali Amendment are small islands and I am proud to report that I expect Maldives to be in a position to ratify the Kigali Amendment once we have completed our relevant domestic processes.

Given the increasingly devastating impacts of climate change, including those we witnessed in the Caribbean in the past few weeks, we are encouraged by the strong support for the Kigali Amendment and the significant impact that action on HFCs will have in limiting our level of global warming.

We must redouble our efforts to reach the goal of limiting warming to 1.5 degrees, which we enshrined in the Paris Agreement, to ensure a safe and viable future for us all.

For nearly three decades, the Alliance of Small Island States has been leading the international effort to address climate change. Under the Paris Agreement, Small Island Developing States have submitted some of the most ambitious nationally determined contributions. Central to these NDCs is a rapid transition to renewable energy systems. The focus of the international community is now shifting from the negotiation to implementation, which is creating new opportunities for SIDS to secure the resources they need to achieve their renewable energy goals.

To help SIDS benefit from this unique political moment, the Republic of the Maldives, in our capacity as AOSIS Chair, in partnership with the International Renewable Energy Agency, have launched the Initiative for Renewable Island Energy. The primary objective of IRIE is to enhance AOSIS political coordination and outreach to development partners with a view to mobilizing the resources – finance, technology, and capacity building – required for a rapid transition to renewable energy systems in SIDS.

The initiative will kick off with a AOSIS ministerial meeting in the Maldives on 10-11 October. The two-day programme will provide an opportunity for AOSIS Ministers to meet with development partners to take stock in the state of renewable energy deployment in SIDS, including critical needs, good practices, and challenges. Invitations for AOSIS ministers plus one, as well as partners, should be in everyone's hands. I encourage everyone to attend.

I thank you.