Energy efficiency discussions elevated at regional meeting

Friday30 May 2014, Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC), Suva, Fiji. The Energy Programme of the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC) convened a project Steering Committee meeting of the Pacific Appliance Labelling and Standards (PALS) programme. This was followed by a workshop for the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) Efficient Lighting programme. The two events took place this week (May 27-28) in Nadi, Fiji.

The workshop was an outcome of commitments made at the Pacific Regional Energy and Transport Ministers’ Meeting in April this year, when the ministers endorsed concept notes for regional energy efficiency proposals on the phasing out of incandescent lamps, energy efficiency in water supply, building energy codes development and application, and sustainable cities.

The ministers also endorsed SPC’s and UNEP’s effort to develop a detailed regional strategy for the transition to efficient lighting in Pacific Island countries and territories (PICTs).

Delegates at the Steering Committee meeting discussed progress in the implementation of the PALS programme in participating countries and also the proposed Pacific regional efficient lighting strategy. The meeting was attended by more than 30 participants, including national PALS coordinators from PICTs and representatives from regional organisations, power utilities and the Australian Government.

Improving energy efficiency offers the Pacific region multiple benefits, including reduced dependence on imported petroleum fuels, increased energy security, lower energy bills and reduced greenhouse gas emissions.

In his opening statement at the Steering Committee meeting , Tim Farrell from Australia?s Department of Industry, highlighted the importance of sharing experiences. He congratulated the delegates on the recognised success of the programme.

‘Fiji has been implementing standards and labelling since January 2012, and five other PICTs are on track to have legislation in place by 2015,? he said.

The PALS and Pacific component of the en.lighten Programme is funded by the Australian Government and is assisting Pacific countries to implement standards and labelling for energy-using equipment such as refrigerators, freezers, air conditioners and lighting.

Marie Leroy from UNEP?s en.lighten programme was pleased that PICTs indicated their interest in developing a regional efficient lighting strategy. SPC will work closely with the United Nations Development Programme and UNEP to develop two regional proposals for the GEF 6 funding cycle on energy efficiency in water supply and efficient lighting.

Over 80 countries around the world now have a standards and labelling programme in place.

SPC