Monday, 29 November 2010

Mitigating climate change: Vanuatu leading by example with Renewable Energy targets

Ambassador Donald Kalpokas from Vanuatu to the UN

The power utility of Vanuatu (UNELCO) has set itself a goal of generating 33% of its electricity from renewable energy by 2013.   Here at the 16th Conference of the Parties to the UN Climate Change Convention, Vanuatu hopes the world will agree to strengthen climate change mitigation policies.  Although the nation is amongst the most vulnerable to the impacts of climate change it is also amongst those countries that barely contributes to the global problem. 

Despite this, Vanuatu is not discouraged in taking action and is doing what it can do to reduce carbon emissions by growing their reliance on renewable energy.

 “Vanuatu’s position is similar or closely linked to the Small Island Developing States, we hope to have some outcomes here concerning mitigation, when it comes to that we’d like to see support for our renewable energy projects and hope to make a case for that here through dialogue with our Pacific partners,” said Ambassador Donald Kalpokas, Vanuatu’s Ambassador to the United Nations.

Hoping for success at this conference in Cancun, Vanuatu is also interested in seeking further support to achieve their renewable energy targets.  Partners such as the Government of Italy and Austria have helped the country in achieving their energy goals, but at this meeting it is hoped that they will be able to negotiate for further developing assistance.

Vanuatu is part of the Pacific family that is attending the Cancun climate change talks, strengthened by Prime Minister of Vanuatu who is leading the delegation.  In all there is a team of eight that is joining the Small Islands Developing States to strive for success in Cancun.  As current chair of the Pacific Island Leaders Forum, Vanuatu is taking its responsibility seriously in supporting the rest of the Pacific at these negotiations.

“Even if we don’t get a legally binding agreement here, we want to see a way forward from here so that the next Conference of the Parties will address this issue.”

The 16th Conference of the Parties to the UN Conference on Climate Change is held in Cancun, Mexico from 29 November to 11 December.

1 comment:

  1. This post concentrates on the interesting climate change MITIGATION activities being undertaken by the electricity utility in Vanuatu.

    From the standpoint of many small islands -- whether they are SIDS or not -- the key climate change issue these days is how to ADAPT to the effects of climate change, since all small islands everywhere cannot effect significant change in the rate of climate change by all of their MITIGATION efforts combined.

    A major constraint on small island ADAPTATION to climate change is the institutional capacity of small islands, already strained by the multiple impacts of globalization. So what are the ADAPTATION facilitation goals of small islands at Cancun, and are these a priority for lobbying groups such as AOSIS? Or are small islands still concentrating on subsidies for their tiny -- but locally politically powerful -- energy businesses?