Pacific Regional Energy and Transport Ministers’ Meeting 2017: Officials Meeting opening

Solomone Fifita

Solomone Fifita

Deputy Director, Energy - Economic Development Division

The joint Pacific Regional Energy And Transport Ministers Meeting creates a platform where actors pursuing common goals on sustainable energy and transport come together to discuss and commit to the development of sustainable and effective short- and long-term strategies for enhancing sustainable energy and transport for Pacific Island countries and territories (PICTs). Forums like this also facilitate the exchange of knowledge and best practices at the regional level and between countries, and foster regional commitment to global agreements such as the Paris Agreement, while further helping build resilience to extreme weather and climate change in the region.

Following the successful completion of the Pacific Energy and Transport Ministers Meeting in 2014, the common ambition to have sustainable, affordable and efficient energy and transport services in the Pacific region motivated the launch of the Pacific Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (PCREEE) at this year’s Ministers meeting. PCREE will provide a much-needed platform for multi-disciplinary collaboration of stakeholders.

PCREEE supports PICTs to improve access to modern, affordable and reliable energy services, and to achieve energy security. It further aims to help PICTs to mitigate the negative externalities of the energy system, and promote renewable energy and energy efficiency investments, markets and industries. It reaffirms the commitment to the Suva Declaration and Paris Agreement by providing a platform for energy stakeholders in the region to work together and achieve energy security for the region. The centre therefore represents an innovative fusion of regional and international efforts and capabilities. Its design leverages a network of intra- and extra-regional partnerships, serving as a ‘hub’ for knowledge and technical expertise on matters related to sustainable energy project implementation. It will also serve as a facilitator for innovative partnerships with the private sector.

Investments in renewable energy are essential in achieving energy security and sustainable renewable energy in the region. National and international investments in energy efficiency and renewable energy are not enough to achieve energy security in the region. There needs to be more commitment and private financing from the private sector to achieve this ambition. Public-private partnerships (PPPs) in the energy sector entail partnership with producers, users and the market. PPPs provide options for the private sector to venture into renewable energy projects, for example through financing, human resources or technology. They provide opportunities for overcoming existing technology and policy barriers to enhance the energy sector and identify key gaps and opportunities related to the development and deployment of climate-resilient energy technologies, practices and policies in region.

Useful links:
PCREEE website
Third Pacific Regional Energy and Transport Ministers Meeting: 24-28 April 2017
EDD website – SPC