1. The Fifth Pacific Regional Energy and Transport Ministers’ Meeting (5TH PRETMM) was organized by the Pacific Community (SPC) and hosted by the Government of Vanuatu (GoV) at the Warwick Le Lagoon Resort, Port Vila, Vanuatu from 8-12 May 2023. The theme of the meeting was “Accelerating Decarbonization in the Blue Pacific” and was convened by hybrid means so participants attended in-person or virtually.
2. The weeklong meeting consisted of the following meeting: (i) on Monday 8/5/23, side events by several partners followed by the Official Opening; (ii) on Tuesday 9/5, parallel meetings of Energy and Transport Officials; (iii) on Wednesday 10/5, parallel meetings of Energy and Transport Officials to adopt their resolutions followed by joint Ministerial dialogues, including dialogue with partners; (iv) on Thursday 11/5, separate meetings for Ministers of Energy and Transport; and (v) the final joint meeting was held on Friday 12/5 for Ministers to discuss and adopt the Outcome Statement.
3. Energy and Transport Ministers from the following Members of the SPC attended the meeting: Cook Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, Kiribati, Republic of the Marshall Islands, Nauru, New Caledonia, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu, Vanuatu and Wallis and Futuna. Heads of delegations and/or senior officials also attended on behalf of Ministers of Energy and/or Transport of Australia, New Zealand, Palau, Tokelau and United Kingdom.
4. The meeting was also attended by representatives from CROP agencies and other regional and international development partners including, Department of Climate Change, Energy, the Environment and Water (DCCEEW), Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI), International Association of Marine Aids to Navigation and Lighthouse Authorities (IALA), International Hydrographic Organization (IHO), International Maritime Organization (IMO), International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), Office of the Pacific Energy Regulators Alliance (OPERA), Oil Spill Response Limited (OSRL), Pacific Power Association (PPA), Pacific Fusion Centre (PFC), Pacific Region Infrastructure Facility (PRIF), Pacific Energy Gender Initiative (PEGI), Pacific Women In Maritime Association (PacWIMA), South-West Pacific Hydrographic Commission (SWPHC), Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP), Sustainable Energy Industry Association of the Pacific Islands (SEIAPI), United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), University of New South Wales (UNSW), University of the South Pacific (USP), Utility Regulatory Authority (URA), Pacific Blue Shipping Partnership (PBSP), World Bank; and various private sector partners and NGOs.
5. The full list of participants from Members and partners is in Annex 1.
6. The Honourable Alatoi Ishmael Kalsakau Mau’koro, Prime Minister of Vanuatu, officially opened the meeting on the 8th of May 2023 and delivered the keynote address. The joint ministerial storian (dialogue) on Wednesday 10th May 2023 was chaired by the Honourable Ralph Regenvanu, Minister of Climate Change Adaptation, Meteorology, Geo-Hazards, Energy, Environment and National Disaster Management Office (MoCC) of the GoV. On Thursday 11th May, the meeting of Energy Ministers was chaired by Honourable Ralph Regenvanu and the meeting of Transport Ministers was chaired by Honourable Marcellino Barthelemy, Minister of Infrastructure and Public Utilities of the GoV. The Ministers:
7. Expressed their gratitude to the Honourable Alatoi Ishmael Kalsakau Mau’koro, the Government, and people of Vanuatu for their warm welcome and hospitality. Ministers also recognized the Honourable Ralph Regenvanu and the Honourable Marcellino Barthelemy for their leadership in chairing the ministerial meetings.
8. Also expressed their warm appreciation to the GoV, the Governments of Australia, and New Zealand, for their funding support, and the SPC for the excellent organisation of the meeting and welcomed the participation of Ministers and officials from members, delegates from CROP agencies, and regional and international development partners to the meeting. JUST AND EQUITABLE TRANSITION AGREED on the following regarding JUST AND EQUITABLE TRANSITION.
9. Reaffirm that climate change remains the single greatest existential threat facing the Blue Pacific. The effects of climate change are real, appalling and existential in Pacific island societies today. This defining issue worsens daily without urgent action to address the source of emissions.
10. To prioritize a people-centred approach to achieving a Just and Equitable Transition towards a Fossil Fuel Free Pacific, enabling and implementing the Port Vila Call to Action.
11. To call on Pacific Island leaders to consider the formal endorsement of the Port Vila Call to Action at the PIF Leaders Meeting hosted by the Cook Islands in November 2023.
12. To pursue a unified, urgent, strong, and regional position to phase out fossil fuels, acknowledging that the pathway is not immediate nor one-size fits all, and must be implemented in a nationally determined way in recognition that all of PICTs are still dependent on fossil fuels, are highly vulnerable to the worsening impacts of climate change, are not responsible for the climate crisis, and have limited financial, technical and human capacity.
13. To call for PICTs to collaborate to strengthen the international legal frameworks that motivate decarbonisation and the mobilisation of adequate climate finance, with sovereign consideration of actions within the Port Vila Call for a Just Transition to a Fossil Fuel Free Pacific, such as the development of a Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty.
14. To call for PIF Leaders to consider establishing a Pacific Energy Commissioner for a Just and Equitable Transition to a Fossil Fuel Free Pacific. FINANCE AGREED on the following regarding FINANCING OF JUST AND EQUITABLE TRANSITION.
15. To request, in international fora and in bilateral negotiations, that PICTs receive substantially greater levels of climate finance to fully address their special circumstances and needs.
16. To call on development partners to increase their efforts to support members to mobilize new, additional, scaled-up, timely, predictable, grant-based, flexible, fit-for-purpose and accessible finance, technology and capacity to accelerate decarbonization in the Blue Pacific.
17. To call for climate finance to be based on the principles of polluter pays and climate justice, noting that PICTs should not be responsible for meeting the costs of developed countries’ and major emitters’ failures to meet their commitments to mitigation, adaptation and finance under the Paris Agreement and other international treaties and conventions.
18. To commit to work together, and with other partners, to maximize impact at the UNFCCC to negotiate reforms to the Green Climate Fund and simplify other existing and new operational modalities of the Financial Mechanism. PARTNERSHIPS AGREED on the following regarding PARTNERSHIPS.
19. To demonstrate leadership to foster genuine and inclusive partnerships to accelerate decarbonisation of the energy and maritime transport sectors.
20. To express gratitude to those who presented their commitments to Ministers in the partner dialogue including CROP agencies, the private sector, civil societies, partners and scientific agencies along with communities and other national stakeholders. ENERGY SECTOR AGREED to implement the following key priorities for the ENERGY SECTOR. Regional collaboration and partnerships
21. Reaffirm the critical importance of the Leaders’ call for a clear pathway for energy security and the urgent need for decarbonisation of energy systems including electricity, transportation and clean cooking; and the need to address supply chain issues, rising costs of fuel and knowledge gaps.
22. Call for enhanced implementation of all PRETMM outcomes in close collaboration amongst PICTs and development partners and for SPC to provide annual update to the national officials and partners.
23. Highly appreciate the collaborative work to prepare, fund and implement the FESRIP 20212030 by a range of partners and called on SPC, relevant CROP agencies and other partners to further implement the framework and the region’s collective efforts towards a just, sustainable and decarbonised energy sector.
24. Acknowledge the critical role of OPERA in promoting the independence, professionalism, accountability and visibility of electricity/energy regulators and strongly encourage nonOPERA members to join the alliance. Financing, resource mobilisation and private sector engagement
25. Call on donors, private sector and other development partners to urgently mobilise additional funding for the implementation of the FESRIP, Minimum Energy Performance Standards and Labelling, PEGSAP, OPERA, E-mobility program, waste-to-energy programmes, energy planning frameworks and tools, green hydrogen, ocean energy technologies, petroleum advisory, and to report annually to SPC on progress.
26. Reiterate the 2019 Ministers decision on the Pacific Regional Data Repository (PRDR) and request the World Bank to facilitate its implementation as part of the Regional Energy Resilience Programme and report back to Ministers by end of 2024.
27. Acknowledge the work done to catalyze private sector participation and investment in the energy sector by partners such as SPC, CAMCO, PFAN, CFAN, GGGI and others and call for more efforts and initiatives to enable private sector engagement, prioritizing local businesses and entrepreneurship. Capacity building and planning
28. Call on PICTs and partners to prioritize capacity building and training in the areas of publicprivate partnerships, energy efficiency, data management, through accredited training in sustainable energy, south-south cooperation, and other modalities.
29. Call on PICTs, SPC, PCREEE, PPA and other partners to develop and use enhanced and tailored energy planning frameworks and capacity expansion tools for net zero outcomes, with a focus on future demand assessments, universal energy access, transitioning fossil fuel dependent sectors, hydrogen energy sources, meeting 100% renewable targets, electrifying road transport/household/commercial uses, securing island grids with high variable renewable penetrations, expanding distributed microgrids, jurisdictional planning and expanding solar home systems for remote communities. Gender mainstreaming
30. Request for peer Energy Ministers to serve as champions in promoting gender in the energy sector and for relevant agencies to jointly pursue the goal of a more gender diverse labor force to spearhead women’s empowerment based on collection and analysis of gender disaggregated data.
31. Endorse the establishment of the Pacific Energy Gender Initiative (PEGI) Regional Steering Committee to spearhead the implementation of the PEGSAP and call on PICTs and 5 development partners to support the PEGI and World Bank’s PWIP and other regional energy gender initiatives. Innovative technologies to accelerate decarbonisation
32. Recognize the decarbonization potential of emerging technologies such as ocean energies, green hydrogen and its derivatives, geothermal, bioenergy, waste-to-energy, electrical vehicles and called for further analysis and enhanced development in the region.
33. Call on IRENA and other partners to further examine the potential role of green hydrogen and its derivatives for decarbonisation of the Blue Pacific with a view to developing a timebound Pacific regional green hydrogen strategy.
34. To develop an ocean readiness programme preparing the PICTs for future ocean renewable energy technologies, which aims to mitigate barriers and brings latest innovations to the Pacific, led by SPC/PCREEE, UNIDO and SIDS DOCK, including cooperation with the Global Ocean Energy Alliance (GLOEA) and other centers of the Global Network of Regional Sustainable Energy Centers (GN-SEC).
35. Call on PICTS to roll-out E-Mobility programs including the adoption and implementation of EV policies, standards and roadmaps, infrastructure and disposal of used batteries. MARITIME TRANSPORT SECTOR AGREED on the following key priorities for the MARITIME TRANSPORT SECTOR.
36. To commit to mobilising appropriate resources, finances, infrastructure, technology and capacity building for a safe, resilient, green, clean, digital, gender-just maritime transport for the Blue Pacific.
37. To recognise the central role of the sector in transitioning to a fossil fuel free Pacific mindful that all Members are at different stages of development and encourage strategic dialogue and partnerships for a just and equitable transition of the maritime transport sector.
38. To affirm a collective commitment for effective cooperation, coordination and determined actions for maritime transport regionally and internationally, including the crucial aspect of maritime safety.
39. To commit to develop one-maritime framework with appropriate plans and solutions aligned to the 2050 Strategy for the Blue Pacific Continent that are adaptable to varying circumstances across the region, and incorporating monitoring, evaluation and learning.
40. To call for a conducive environment to access climate finances and implement transformative programmes in the maritime sector, as well as access to reliable investment in the sector. RESOLUTIONS OF ENERGY AND TRANSPORT OFFICIALS
41. Considered and endorsed the Resolutions of Energy and Transport Officials. The Energy Officials’ Resolution is attached as Annex II (Energy Officials Resolution) and the Transport 6 Officials’ Resolution forms the agenda of Transport Ministers whose deliberations are attached in Annex III (Details of Transport Ministers Outcome) to this Outcome Statement. SIXTH PACIFIC REGIONAL ENERGY AND TRANSPORT MINISTERS’ MEETING.
42. Ministers appreciate the offer from the Government of Papua New Guinea to host the Sixth Pacific Regional Energy and Transport Ministers’ Meeting in 2026.
Adopted in Port Vila, Vanuatu this 12th day of May 2023.