Clean Energy Takes Center Stage in the Pacific

on April 15, 2013

Two recent high-level events focused on clean energy in the Pacific, held in Tonga and New Zealand, offered a glimpse into the future of low-carbon development in the region.

The schedule of events in Tonga was designed to showcase what opportunities for clean energy technologies – be it wind, solar, thermal, and so forth – exist in different island contexts. The gathering in New Zealand assembled a collection of bankers, investors, and aid donors with access to the capital needed to bring the projects to fruition.

At both meetings it was clear that enthusiasm for renewable energy has reached a high point in the region, with a wide variety of economic sectors, and importantly political leaders, staunchly behind the initiative.

Over the past decade, the vast majority of funding for clean energy projects has been steered toward big developing countries, where comparatively larger gains can be made in emissions reductions.

But with most SIDS now spending an average of 10 percent of their entire budgets on imported fossil fuels, even modest investments in renewable energy have the potential to profoundly impact sustainable development, and can serve as testing grounds for bringing the technologies to scale elsewhere.

The New Zealand meeting got the Pacific region off to a good start, with estimates pointing to funding available for about half of the projects proposed.

Renewable energy, of course, is an AOSIS priority as articulated in the Barbados Declaration.

The next step, of course, is to help convert this momentum into the scale of global action needed to ensure all these places survive long enough to enjoy the promise of renewable energy long into the future.

Pin It

Comments are closed.

« »

Climate Conversations

News from

  • Your Binge-Watching Is Making the Planet Warmer
    May 22, 2015
    Those cat videos, TED talks, and Netflix original series you watch to unwind might be slowly killing the planet. You recycle. You ride your bike to work. You bring your own bags to the groce [...]
  • This Palm Oil Company Just Bulldozed a Rainforest
    May 22, 2015
    Astra has cut down 14,000 hectares of forests since 2007 to make way for palm oil plantations, environmentalists say. In the last two years, a series of companies have made bold commitments [...]
  • Farming in the Sky
    May 22, 2015
    Why agriculture may someday take place in towers, not fields. A couple of Octobers ago, I found myself standing on a 5,000-acre cotton crop in the outskirts of Lubbock, Texas, shoulder-to-sh [...]
Scroll to top