Sustainable Energy is Critical to National and Regional Economic Development and addressing Climate Change

Pacific Island Countries and Territories at the Energy and Transport Ministers meeting highlighted energy as a critical issue to national and regional economic development and also to the global response to the dangers of climate change at the 2nd Pacific Energy and Transport Minister Meeting held in Nadi last week.
Convened under the theme, Sustainable energy and transport services for all in the Pacific Island Countries and Territories, the regional meeting organized by the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC) brings together Ministers and representatives from the region as well as development partners and relevant stakeholders from the energy and transport sector.
Speaking at a Pacific roll out of the United Nation’s Decade for Sustainable Energy for All Initiative, the Hon. Michael Konelios, Minister of Resources and Development for Marshall Islands on behalf of the Pacific Islands Forum Leaders Chair stated, “Leaders have continued to emphasise the importance of securing access to energy, their commitment to renewable energy, promotion of efficiency measures and the need for significant progress in diversification by developing domestic renewable energy to reduce their reliance on imported fuels.”
“Forum Leaders have encouraged the development of credible whole of sector plans such as ‘energy road maps’ and structures to improve energy security, reduce dependency on fossil fuel and improve access for all to electricity. Leaders have called on development partners to assist in the implementation of national energy sector plans and targets and to strengthen coordination of their financing activities acknowledging the benefits of facilitating greater private sector participation,” Hon Konelios added.
The Economic Infrastructure experts from the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat attended the meeting to provide support to Members for discussions on improved energy security and transport solutions. The meeting concluded on Friday 4, April.
Background information:
• A Declaration for Climate Leadership was made by Leaders of the Pacific Islands Forum at the 2013 Forum Leaders Meeting which targets the need for urgent action at all levels to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
• The Majuro Declaration has at its heart the desire to invoke greater global Leadership at the highest level to address climate change and contribute to addressing this at a critical juncture in global decision making.
• These efforts are aimed to feed into the United Nations Secretary General’s (UNSG) Summit for Climate Leaders in late September 2014 and ultimately the formulation of the legally binding agreement in 2015.
• The new Pacific Plan, and its implications on the energy and transport sector, was also a important agenda item at the meeting.
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