Nuku’alofa, Tonga - Like many other small island developing states (SIDS), Pacific islands are heavily affected by climate change and the economic downturn caused by the COVID-19 crisis. The continued dependency on expensive fossil fuel imports hampers the success of economic recovery strategies. Pacific SIDS need policies that address challenges simultaneously and build a bridge to innovations driven by decentralisation, decarbonisation and digitalisation.
Recently, Pacific islands entered into such a new era of innovation. To better harness emerging electric vehicle opportunities, the Fourth Pacific Regional Energy and Transport Ministers’ Meeting, held from 18 to 20 September 2019, in Apia, Samoa, requested the Pacific Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (PCREEE) and the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) to assist Pacific island nations in the development of a regional policy and program on electric vehicles.
Over the past months, UNIDO and PCREEE developed a technical report which identifies feasible and viable e-mobility options for Pacific islands. Based on the findings, a regional policy document with targets by 2030 and 2050 was developed. The document includes thirty-eight policy actions directed to overcome existing barriers. The proposed program foresees the creation of a Pacific e-mobility hub, which will advise Governments and create a space for joint learning and standards.
“Following the diesel track implies less opportunities for the youth and less resources to adapt to global emergencies such as climate change and COVID-19. To increase the resilience of our economies we also need to look into new forms of transportation, including the nexus of electric vehicles and renewable energy. We look forward to host the e-mobility hub for the Pacific region”, said Mr. Solomone Fifita, Manager of the PCREEE at the occasion of the third anniversary celebration of the centre.
“We invite local and international partners, financiers and suppliers to join the program and become pioneers for island e-mobility futures. Through our Global Network of Regional Sustainable Energy Centres and in partnership with SIDS DOCK we will facilitate knowledge exchange with other regions. CCREEE is currently developing a similar framework for the Caribbean Community.”, added Mr. Martin Lugmayr, UNIDO Sustainable Energy Expert.
Due to the COVID-19 crises the initially planned validation workshop in Suva, Fiji, was cancelled and it is now being held by public online validation. Twenty-two Member States of the Pacific Community and international partners are invited to provide comments by 31st May. After incorporating the inputs, the documents will go for consideration to the Pacific Ministers of Energy and Transport. The documents are available here. Comments are to be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com.
Mr. Solomone Fifita, Manager of PCREEE
Martin Lugmayr, Sustainable Energy Expert, Department of Energy, UNIDO