6 May, Nadi, Fiji – A major highlight of the opening session of a regional meeting relating to renewable energy and energy efficiency in the Pacific was the signing of a two million dollar agreement.
The agreement was signed between the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) for renewable energy and energy efficiency projects in the Pacific islands at the SIDS DOCK Pacific Regional meeting.
The funds are provided by the Government of Denmark through SIDS DOCK, an initiative developed by Small Island Developing States (SIDS) for SIDS to promote renewable energy, energy efficiency, and contribute towards sustainable development with support from UNDP and the World Bank. The funds have strengthened the Pacific Islands Greenhouse Gas Abatement through Renewable Energy Project (PIGGAREP) countries allowing for a new phase of the project: PIGGAREP-plus.
Over the past five years of the project, potential renewable energy projects underwent feasibility studies and resource assessments in 11 Pacific island countries. This was supported by technical and financial management trainings and awareness programs.
Having gone through the initial process, the PIGGAREP-plus phase will allow for these initiatives to be up-scaled and replicated in the Pacific region.
“The Pacific contributes only 0.03% of the world’s total greenhouse gases but we are the islands that are in the frontline of the impacts of climate change. In response, Pacific countries have all set very ambitious renewable energy targets but the issue is the implementation of these targets,” said Mr. David Sheppard, the Director General of SPREP.
“Programmes such as PIGGAREP, and PIGGAREP-plus, which we signed today, and the SIDS DOCK are a key part of that equation to help the countries achieve these ambitious and far sighted renewable energy targets. SPREP is delighted to be signing this with our close partner UNDP and we will continue our work in partnership with others.”
Speaking at the signing ceremony, the UNDP Resident Representative, Knut Ostby, said UNDP was pleased to continue supporting sustainable energy to improve human development and achieve sustainable development objectives at the local, national, regional and global levels.
“Sustainable energy is key to Pacific Small Island Development States (SIDS) for two reasons. Firstly, sustainable energy options provide an alternative to fossil fuels which the Pacific Island Countries spend a significant amount of their budgets importing, and secondly, the Pacific can set an example and show the world that sustainable energy options are possible,” said Mr Ostby.
“The SIDS DOCK PIGGAREP-plus is a set of concrete practical interventions in 6 Pacific Countries. This project will also have a direct impact on alleviating poverty, improving living conditions and achieving sustainable development for all,” said Mr. Ostby.
This new PIGGAREP-plus agreement made possible through the SIDS DOCK covers the funding for the ‘Sustaining Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency measures in Micronesia’ (SREEM), a joint project in the Federated States of Micronesia, Marshall Islands and Palau.
It will fund an Energy Efficiency demonstration house in Tuvalu, a Solar Photovoltaic powered Rural Telecommunication systems project in the Solomon Islands and in Tonga the PIGGAREP plus will fund solar powered wall water pumping systems on Ha’apai islands.
The PIGGAREP-plus is funded by the Government of Denmark under the SIDS DOCK initiative. SIDS DOCK is a collective initiative to assist the Small Islands Developing States through acting as the mechanism for funding support for renewable energy and energy efficiency activities.