Project to encourage islanders’ participation in energy market


<p style="text-align: justify;">The recent launch of the Low Carbon Energy Islands project by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the Global Environment Facility, aims to encourage households in these three Pacific island nations to be active participants in the energy market of their respective countries.<!--more--></p>
<p style="text-align: justify;">The innovative project is designed to work with households and local businesses to build sustainable markets for renewable energy and energy efficient products. An opening workshop was held last month to start a process that aims to help the countries move to low carbon societies, while considering their circumstances. As the three smallest economies in the Pacific, the countries will use their resources and skills to generate local business for energy products.</p>
<p style="text-align: justify;">Taholo Kami, Regional Director for IUCN Oceania says, “The small island states are increasingly recognising their value, and this project builds upon the ability of Pacific Island countries to create their own opportunities. Success in this project can be a gift to larger countries, by showing how remote communities can increase their self-sufficiency.”</p>
<p style="text-align: justify;">The project has three components: Reviewing the strategic direction for the energy sector, identifying cost-effective and practical options, and building partnerships. Second is to make available financial incentives, so as to positively motivate participation in the market for renewables and energy efficient equipment. The third component addresses issues of sustainability, through capacity building and knowledge sharing that will maximise the benefits of the financial incentives.</p>
<p style="text-align: justify;">The project aims to change behaviours towards energy use and assist people to make wise energy choices. Increasing participation in energy markets can be as simple as choosing more efficient appliances, or installing solar photovoltaic cells on the roofs of houses. With the right information and incentives, this could bring a sustainable market to the islands, according to the architects of the project.</p>
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