UAE — In a year of critical action on climate mitigation and adaptation, Pacific Island governments have reinforced their commitment to energy transition action and strengthened sustainable energy goals within updated nationally determined contributions (NDCs) ahead of COP26 in Glasgow, the United Kingdom in November.
At a meeting of high-level policy and intergovernmental representatives jointly hosted by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), the Regional Pacific NDC Hub and the UK COP26 Presidency, ministers and government representatives reiterated the need for transformative pledges that significantly reorient the world’s energy transition pathway. Pacific nations aim to be at the forefront of global efforts.
During the discussion, H.E Charles Obichang, Minister of Infrastructure, Palau, reaffirmed his country’s commitment to a sustainable energy future: “Palau is developing a new roadmap that will ultimately result in a 100 per cent fossil fuel free energy system. The pursuit of energy security through renewable energy makes environmental, social and economic sense for us, helping to fight climate change while creating opportunities for new industries and new jobs. Renewables are an opportunity for us to thrive in a new era of fossil fuel free energy production.”
Currently, 13 of the 14 Pacific Small Island Developing States (SIDS) have quantified renewable energy targets in their NDCs, submitted under the first round of Paris Agreement climate pledges, equating to nearly 2GW of renewables capacity. All Pacific SIDS are engaged in a process of NDC enhancement ahead of COP26 under the coordination of the Regional NDC Pacific Hub and with support of various development partners. Fiji, Marshall Islands, Papua New Guinea and Tonga have already submitted enhanced contributions.
Angeline Heine, Director of Energy, Republic of the Marshall Islands, noted that in order to meet multiple national objectives, her country’s strategy is organised around three pillars: “As a front liner on climate change the Republic of the Marshall Islands is fully committed to meeting its NDC objective of 100 per cent renewable energy by 2050. Our goal is ambitious, but our electricity roadmap has identified three key priorities, which address the technology, human resources, and investment components of the plan. We believe this ensures our transition is owned and advanced by the Marshall Islands people.”
Countries are given the opportunity to submit enhanced NDCs by COP26 by revising and enhancing mitigation and adaptation targets, finance goals, and developing concrete action plans for the implementation, formulation, and communication of long-term emission reduction strategies in 2020.
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