Wednesday, July 22, 2015

IRENA Conference Launches Martinique Action Plan for Renewables Deployment on SIDS

14 July 2015: A conference organized by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) has launched an action plan to accelerate the adoption of renewable energy in small island developing states (SIDS).

The Martinique Action Plan outlines practical steps for deploying renewable energy resources and technologies in SIDS. It also seeks to demonstrate commitment of 27 SIDS and 19 development partners to the IRENA of SIDS Lighthouses Initiative in the run-up to the 2015 UN Climate Change Conference.

The ‘Martinique Action Plan for Renewable Energy Deployment on Islands' (MAP) focuses on the development of wind, marine, geothermal and sustainable biomass resources. It also identifies steps for promoting biomass and waste-to-energy systems, boosting renewable electricity generation on island power grids, and launching renewable desalination systems to meet increasing demands for freshwater.

The MAP recommends: supporting the energy transition of SIDS through concrete actions, including opening markets, facilitating financing and building capacities; facilitating the implementation of programmes and projects to achieve concrete outcomes, including through enabling policy environments and promoting successful business models; and contributing, where applicable and appropriate, to the development of concrete actions with a view to demonstrating progress at the UN Climate Change Conference in Paris, in November-December 2015.

It also, inter alia: emphasizes renewable energy as a key means for mitigating climate change and strengthening resilience to its impacts; notes public-private partnerships' role in unlocking investment capital; and acknowledges support from civil society and community engagement as critical for long-term success.

In September 2014, the Third International Conference on SIDS in Apia, Samoa, adopted an outcome document, titled ‘SIDS Accelerated Modalities of Action (SAMOA) Pathway,' which supports actions to, inter alia, develop a strategy and targeted measures to promote energy efficiency and foster sustainable energy systems, and calls for the establishment and strengthening of innovative energy road maps in SIDS.

At the 2014 Climate Summit, in September 2014 in New York, US, IRENA launched the SIDS Lighthouses Initiative, a joint effort of SIDS, development institutions and other partners aimed at mobilizing funding and political will to advance the deployment of renewable energy in islands around the world

The MAP was launched at the ‘Island Energy Transitions: Pathways for Accelerated Uptake of Renewables' conference, organized on Martinique, from 22-24 June 2015, by IRENA, in cooperation with the Government of France and the French Region of Martinique.

The conference, which attracted the participation of representatives of governments, companies, banks, development partners and subject matter experts, covered topics such as renewable energy resources, technologies, markets, financing, and the sharing of best practices. [IRENA Press Release] [Martinique Action Plan for Renewable Energy Development on Islands] [Island Energy Transitions Conference Webpage] [IISD RS Coverage of the Third International Conference on SIDS] [IISD RS Story of SIDS Lighthouses Initiative Launch]

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