Malé—The Government of the Maldives, in its capacity as Chair of the Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS) and in partnership with the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), will be hosting the inaugural high-level meeting of the Initiative for Renewable Island Energy (IRIE) on October 10-11. The meeting will be attended by 17 energy and environment ministers from the AOSIS membership around the world.
“Small Island Developing States (SIDS) have overwhelmingly embraced the vision of a renewable energy future,” said Thoriq Ibrahim, Energy and Environment Minister for the Maldives and Chair of Alliance of Small Island States. “As Chair of AOSIS, Maldives has made leaving a lasting legacy of renewable energy infrastructure in small islands a priority and IRIE is how we are fulfilling that vision.”
The primary objective of IRIE is to enhance AOSIS political coordination and outreach to development partners with a view to mobilizing the resources – finance, technology, and capacity building – required for a rapid transition to renewable energy systems in SIDS.
SIDS face financial, technical and political barriers as they transition their power, transportation, and heating and cooling sectors to renewable energy. Many of these barriers stem from their size, geography and limited capacity. Efforts to overcome these barriers could be enhanced by greater cooperation and knowledge sharing among SIDS, development partners and private sector stakeholders. This enhanced collaboration has the potential to lead to improved economies of scale, reduced transaction costs and better enabling environments for donors and investors.
IRIE is designed to support SIDS in their implementation of the renewable energy and energy efficiency components of their NDCs. This will require the further mobilisation of financial and technical support within their governments and private sectors. IRIE will set an initial goal of mobilising at least USD 1,000,000 in grant and concessionary financing by 2020 for concrete implementation on the ground.
“Small islands contribute a miniscule fraction of global emissions and yet we have taken the lead in committing to some of the most ambitious clean energy plans in the world. IRIE is a testament to island leadership and the important role the Maldives has played in the international effort to tackle climate change for over three decades,” said Minister Ibrahim.