Pres-Elect Dr. Muizzu expresses confidence in Maldives' climate resilience

President-elect Dr. Mohamed Muizzu has said that he does not believe that the Maldives' islands could submerge due to sea-level rise caused by climate change. Dr. Muizzu made the remark in his first interview given to an international news agency, on Al Jazeera's Talk to Al Jazeera programme, after his election victory.

During the interview, Muizzu was asked about the Maldives' vulnerability to rising sea levels due to climate change. While international warnings highlight the risks of climate change to the Maldives, including the possibility of 80 percent of the country becoming uninhabitable by 2050, Muizzu expressed confidence in the country's climate resilience.

In his response, Dr.Muizzu said such predictions and concerns about the Maldives' future due to climate change have been made for decades, and the severity of the situation may not be as dire as suggested. He mentioned that sea-level rise has not occurred at the rate predicted by some earlier estimates around 50 years back and said it would be clear to visitors that the situation in the Maldives is not as serious as predicted.

Despite this, Muizzu emphasized the overall seriousness of climate issues and affirmed his commitment to environmental protection, especially during the construction of resorts and development projects.

Regarding the Maldives' efforts to become a net zero country by 2030, Muizzu said the technical and financial assistance needed to achieve the vision is not available. Therefore, the target of making the Maldives a net zero country by 2030 may not be achievable, he said. However, he emphasized the importance of striving for this achievement. Dr. Muizzu said the state will spend on renewable energy projects and work with relevant international agencies under efforts to achieve net-zero.