VIENNA, 21 November 2016 – On the margins of the UNIDO 50th Anniversary celebrations, Director General LI Yong, and Martin Ledolter, Managing Director of the Austrian Development Agency (ADA), signed a EUR 600,000 trust fund agreement on support for the new Pacific Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (PCREEE). The contribution is in addition to the funding provided by the Austrian Ministry for Europe, Integration and Foreign Affairs.
This follows the decision of the Pacific Ministers for Energy and Transport to establish the centre as a regional implementation hub under the umbrella of the Framework for Action on Energy Security in the Pacific (FAESP) and the Small Island Sustainable Energy and Climate Resilience Initiative (SIDS DOCK). The centre will be co-hosted by the Pacific Community (SPC) and the Tonga Government at Nuku’alofa, Tonga. UNIDO will provide technical services and mentoring throughout the centre’s first operational phase.
The signing ceremony was attended by the Hon. Siaosi 'Ofakivahafolau Sovaleni, Deputy Prime Minister of Tonga, who said “The centre will help to up-scale sustainable energy markets, industries and innovation in the Pacific Islands and Territories. It is a key element of our national roadmap to achieve 50 per cent renewable energy penetration in the electricity sector by 2020. We invite all partners to the inauguration of the center at the upcoming regional meeting of Pacific Ministers on Energy and Transport, to be held between 24 and 28 April 2017 in Nuku’alofa, Tonga.”
“This is another good example of our fruitful partnership with Austria. The 50th anniversary of UNIDO also marks an important milestone reinforcing cooperation with small island developing states on key issues such as sustainable energy, the circular economy and the promotion of entrepreneurship for youth employment,” said Director General LI Yong.
Martin Ledolter highlighted “the importance of regional cooperation to create the needed economies of scale for the implementation of the Paris Climate Agreement and the 2030 Development Agenda.” He welcomed PCREEE as a new member of the Global Network of Regional Sustainable Energy Centres and highlighted the potential for cooperation between small island developing states on sustainable energy island issues with the other regional centres in the network.