New Zealand and the European Union today welcomed the successful conclusion of the Pacific Energy Conference in Auckland which saw donors commit over $1 billion for sustainable energy projects in the Pacific.
The $635 million committed at the 2013 Pacific Energy Summit has translated into over $900 million of investments across 70 projects, New Zealand Foreign Minister Murray McCully says.
In the same way, I hope to see the $1 billion of commitments announced today increase as opportunities for leverage become apparent and as the ambition of partners grows.
With the growing role for the private sector and the prospect of access to the UN Green Climate Fund there should be significant potential to further expand our efforts in this area.
Investments and funding announced today will support Polynesia to achieve more than 50 percent renewable energy by 2024, provide access to electricity for an estimated 1 million people in Melanesia, and help other countries in the region to double their renewable energy generation.
For our part New Zealand has agreed to provide a further $100 million to energy projects in nine Pacific countries, bringing our total contribution to $220 million, Mr McCully says.
Investors include conference co-hosts New Zealand and the European Union, and the Asian Development Bank, the World Bank Group, Japan, United Arab Emirates and Australia.
Since 2013, New Zealand and the EU have partnered to deliver renewable energy projects in Tuvalu, Samoa, the Cook Islands and Kiribati. Neven Mimica, EU Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development today welcomed the expansion of this partnership.
‘I am particularly pleased to have signed today with New Zealand a Joint Declaration of Cooperation on a Pacific Partnership for Sustainable Energy. It signals our commitment to expand the scope of our close cooperation on renewable energy to benefit, among others, Tonga, Niue and Northern Pacific, Commissioner Mimica says.
Furthermore this declaration paves the way for the future expansion of the successful EU-New Zealand partnership to fields such as climate change, in accordance with the framework established by the Paris Agreement, and sustainable agriculture, starting with Vanuatu.