Can our region be carbon neutral by 2050?

Suva

In a region where 80 percent of energy is powered by fossil fuels, Pacific leaders have declared their intention to make the region carbon neutral by 2050. The declaration is expected to not only support the Pacific Sustainable Development targets, but also help to spur economic activities and job creation as the region increases its investment in clean energy infrastructure.

In early July, the Pacific Energy Officials meeting was held to consider the impacts of the global energy crisis, high costs of fuel and the inflation pressures being faced across the region.

Hosted by the Government of Vanuatu, the meeting was attended by representatives of Pacific Island Countries and Territories (PICTs) governments, utilities, regulators and the private sector from American Samoa, Cook Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, Kiribati, Nauru, Niue, Palau, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu and Vanuatu, and partners.

Officials noted the severe impacts that COVID-19 has had on the planning and delivery of national energy initiatives and achievements of national energy targets. However, they also acknowledged the progress made to develop, and implement national climate change mitigation and energy-related roadmaps, strategies, policies and legislations in partnership with energy stakeholders and development partners.

A week later at the 51st Pacific Islands Forum Leaders Meeting held in Suva officials reiterated their concerns on the future of energy in the Pacific during the launch of the 2050 Strategy for the Blue Pacific Continent. A call was made for a clear pathway to energy security and an urgent requirement for decarbonisation of the energy sector towards renewable energy.

Pacific Energy Officials had earlier acknowledged the need for innovative financing mechanisms to strengthen and incentivise Private-Public-Partnerships to accelerate the energy transition in the region and further emphasised the need to implement gender mainstreaming initiatives in the energy sector.

The officials also supported the convening of an in-person meeting to discuss Electric Vehicle (EV) developments in the PICTs and a training workshop for the Office of the Pacific Energy Regulators Alliance (OPERA). Both events will be held in October this year.

Click here for the 2022 Energy Officials meeting outcomes.

For more information:
Talei Tora, Communications Advisor,  Geoscience Energy & Maritime Division, Pacific Community (SPC) | [email protected]

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Geoscience, Energy and Maritime (GEM) Division

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