11 April 2012, Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC), Suva –
Pacific Island countries participating in a regional energy workshop this week expressed their commitment to improving energy efficiency by participating in the Pacific Appliance Labelling and Standards (PALS) programme.
Currently 13 Pacific Island countries are participating in the PALS programme, which is managed by SPC.
In his opening remarks, Tim Farrell of Australia’s Department of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency said, ‘I commend your countries’ participation in this workshop because it acknowledges the importance your governments place on improving energy efficiency.
‘The Australian government has now committed Fast Start Finance to the PALS programme until June 2013,’ he said. ‘Australia will partner with SPC and with Pacific Islands that plan to align with existing energy efficiency standards and labelling programmes, such as the successful programme that has been jointly delivered by Australia and New Zealand over the past 25 years.’
The PALS Programme is designed to assist Pacific countries implement labelling and standards for energy-using equipment such as refrigerators, freezers, air conditioners and lighting.
Over 50 countries around the world now have energy labelling or standards programmes in place. Those that have no standards risk being the dumping ground for inefficient equipment and appliances.
The need for introducing a PALS programme to the Pacific region was realised at the 42nd meeting of Pacific Islands Forum Leaders in September 2011, where the Leaders expressed support for the development of effective management of fuel supply risks, and for meeting energy efficiency targets — including expanding the existing electrical appliance energy efficiency standards and labelling programme — in order to help realise significant energy savings.
At that same meeting, Australia’s Prime Minister Julia Gillard announced her support for the introduction of energy labelling and standards for electrical appliances in the Pacific region. This led to the establishment of a PALS programme at SPC, supported by Australia.
‘Implementing appliance labelling and standards is an important strategy for mitigating climate change,’ Director of SPC’s Economic Development Division John Hogan told the delegates in his welcome remarks.
‘Studies have concluded that it is more cost-effective for the Pacific region to import more energy-efficient refrigerators, air conditioners and lighting than it is to import diesel fuel,’ he said.
At the PALS Implementation Workshop this week, the participating governments will begin drafting implementation plans to enable the expansion of the PALS programme throughout the Pacific region.
The workshop is chaired by Ms Makereta Sauturaga, the newly appointed PALS Programme Manager at SPC.
With 2012 being declared the International Year of Sustainable Energy for All, the outcomes of this workshop are seen as a major step forward towards achieving the goal of sustainable energy for all in the Pacific.
For more information, please contact: Avnita Goundar, Information Officer, Economic Development Division, SPC, Suva, Fiji. Email:
(Photo caption: Participants of the PALS Implementation Workshop in Suva, Fiji)