The European Union has devoted substantial resources, totalling almost Euro 100 million (US 134.6 million) to support the adoption of renewable energy technologies and to promote energy efficiency in small island states in the Pacific since 2008.
“The European Union is strongly committed to renewable energy and energy efficiency. Indeed, access to sustainable energy is crucial for education, healthcare, tourism and even for water supply. Access to affordable energy is a country’s main route towards growth and development and a vital area for the Pacific region as a whole,” said Mr David O’Sullivan, the Chief Operating Officer of the European External Action Service.
He made the comments today at a joint event on sustainable energy hosted by the European Union and New Zealand at the Pacific Islands Forum in Koror, Palau. Earlier this year, European Development Commissioner Andris Piebalgs and New Zealand’s Foreign Minister Murray McCully visited renewable energy and energy efficiency projects in Samoa, Tuvalu, Kiribati (including Kiritimati Island) and the Cook Islands. These countries are all part of the EU-NZ Energy Partnership for the Pacific.
“At last year’s Pacific Energy Summit in Auckland, the European Union and New Zealand pledged to step up cooperation on sustainable energy. We have since continued to work together through our Energy Access Partnership for the Pacific, in close coordination with other partners and in line with the United Nations’ Sustainable Energy for All initiative,” Mr O’Sullivan said.
Citing the European Union’s partnership with New Zealand and the Asian Development Bank in the area of sustainable energy, he added: “Other than initiating and strengthening the partnership between the European Union and New Zealand, one of the main results of the Pacific Energy Summit has been the commitment of many development partners to provide additional financial resources to meet the energy needs expressed by the Pacific island countries.
“Looking at the results achieved so far, I’m very pleased by the cooperation between the European Union and New Zealand on sustainable energy, to help countries in this beautiful corner of the world benefit from the kind of clean, reliable electricity that we take for granted, but which for many parts of the world, remains a luxury,” Mr O’Sullivan said.