PV MRU Rooftop
Photo: UNDP Mauritius

10 November, Port Louis, Mauritius – The Republic of Mauritius has launched a US$191 million project supported by the Green Climate Fund (GCF) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). The project aims to reduce fossil fuel imports and accelerate the nation’s shift to a low-carbon economy over a period of 20 years.

The 8 year project will support national goals to increase renewable energy to 35 percent of the energy mix by 2025 and reduce carbon dioxide output by 4.3 million tons. It is a key step in achieving the country’s Nationally Determined Contributions to the Paris Agreement and supporting  continued economic growth.

Honourable Ivan Leslie Collendavelloo, Deputy Prime Minister and the Minister of Energy and Public Utilities  announced that Mauritius is on track to achieve the 35 percent target of the renewables in the energy mix with the launch of this project.

The project’s first phase is expected to strengthen the ability of the energy grid to use electricity generated by intermittent renewables, and support institutional strengthening through the operationalization of the Mauritius Renewable Energy Agency (MARENA). The second phase will draw upon lessons learned during the first phase to accelerate the deployment of solar energy in Mauritius’ principal outer island, Agalega.

Currently, approximately 80 percent of Mauritius’ energy supply comes from fossil fuels. One of the most economically developed states in Africa, Mauritius, like many other Small Island Developing States, is still vulnerable to outside energy shocks.

Greenhouse gas emissions have been growing at 3 percent per year, as the island nation continues to develop its economy through tourism, transport, and information and communications technology. Coal and fuel oil currently dominate the island nation’s energy mix.

This is part of a broad national strategy to reduce the country’s dependence on fossil fuels – to enhance energy security and climate change mitigation – and to support a strong economy and continued economic development.

The project is supported by  UNDP. The principle finance comes from a US$28.2 million grant from the GCF, an initial US$18.7 million loan from the French Development Agency (AFD) to the Central Electricity Board, US$123.9 million in grant financing from the national government, and a US$1.4 million contribution from UNDP.

“This is an important step in achieving the goals outlined by the Paris Agreement and supporting low-carbon, climate-resilient development in Mauritius,” said UNDP Officer in Charge, Mrs. Aida Cisse Diagne. “This pioneering work by the Government of Mauritius will inform future climate actions in Small Island Developing States the world over.”

Learn more about the Accelerating the Transformational Shift to a Low-Carbon Economy in the Republic of Mauritius project.

UNDP partners with people at all levels of society to help build nations that can withstand crisis, and drive and sustain the kind of growth that improves the quality of life for everyone. On the ground in more than 170 countries and territories, we offer global perspective and local insight to help empower lives and build resilient nations.

The Green Climate Fund (GCF) is a new global fund created to support the efforts of developing countries to respond to the challenge of climate change. GCF helps developing countries limit or reduce their greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and adapt to climate change. It seeks to promote a paradigm shift to low-emission and climate-resilient development, taking into account the needs of nations that are particularly vulnerable to climate change impacts.

For more information:

Greg Benchwick, Global Environmental Finance Unit, email: gregory.benchwick@undp.org; tel: +1 303-717-7502  

In New York, Sangita Khadka, Communications Specialist, UNDP Bureau for Policy and Programme Support, email: sangita.khadka@undp.org; Tel: +1 212 906 5043

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