As global leaders meet to negotiate new targets to stem the rising impact of climate change, Pacific Energy & Transport Ministers have agreed in Samoa on a bold set of priorities that will reduce the use of fossil fuels and increase renewable energy supply in the Pacific.
The outcomes of the Fourth Pacific Regional Energy and Transport Ministers’ Meeting focused on energy, transport and maritime sectors with specific commitments to boost renewable power, decrease reliance on fossil fuels and ensure improved safety in shipping services for Pacific people.
Currently 75% of fossil fuels imported into the region are used for land and maritime transport. The priorities endorsed at the meeting will support the reduction of their use in transportation over the next decade. In addition, the region will work to increase access to electricity for the 7.7 million pacific people who are without regular power supply.
Samoa’s Prime Minister, Honourable Tuila'epa Sa'ilele Malielegaoi in his official address commended the outcomes and the agreed direction toward more “resilient development & low-carbon alternatives and reduced greenhouse gas emissions from the region by embracing a phase out of fossil fuels.”
Director-General of the Pacific Community (SPC), Dr Colin Tukuitonga, echoed the Prime Minister’s statement. He said “This region accounts for a marginal amount of global greenhouse gas emissions and yet the focus of this meeting was to find ways to reduce this even further. This is our home and our future. We are building the Pacific region and its economies in sustainable and effective ways for our people and our future. These outcomes show that. I commend the Ministers and their vision for our Blue Pacific while we help set an example for large emitters to show economies can grow on renewables”.
For the 32 detailed outcomes please see the statement here:
Transport Ministers directed Pacific and international ship operators in the region to prioritise safety issues in the maritime sector whilst adopting a vision for Pacific Ports (2030-2050). The Ministers also committed to reducing greenhouse emissions and the use of fossil fuels within the domestic shipping sector.
Energy Ministers reaffirmed climate change as the single greatest threat to the livelihoods, security and wellbeing of the peoples of the Pacific with a vision for 100% renewable energy generation in the Pacific.
Minister’s also called for closer coordination and alignment of regional efforts on sustainable energy through the Pacific Community in collaboration with development partners.
Energy and/or Transport Ministers and senior officials from the following Members of the SPC attended the meeting: American Samoa, Australia, Cook Islands, Fiji, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Nauru, New Zealand, Niue, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tokelau, Tonga, Tuvalu and Vanuatu. .
This meeting was hosted by the Samoa Government in partnership with the SPC. The next Pacific Regional Energy and Transport Ministers’ Meeting will be held in Vanuatu in 2022.