Japan contributes $36.8 million to support ‘Green Transformation’ in four Pacific Island nations
February 21, 2023
21 February, 2023 // New York
The United Nations Development Programme on Tuesday launched a USD $36.8 million project with the Government of Japan to support four Pacific island nations with a ‘Green Transformation’ of their economies that will reduce their reliance on fossil fuels, drive sustainable economic growth and help them cope with the impacts of climate change.
The two-year project, titled Promoting Green Transformation in the Pacific Region towards Net-Zero Emissions and Climate-Resilient Development, was launched at a signing ceremony in New York.
The event was attended by Ms. Mitsuko Shino, Ambassador and Deputy Permanent Representative of Japan to the United Nations, and Kanni Wignaraja, Assistant Administrator and UNDP Director for the Regional Bureau for Asia and the Pacific, as well as representatives from the respective Permanent Missions of Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Timor-Leste, and Vanuatu to the United Nations.
Through the project, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Timor-Leste and Vanuatu will see investments in clean energy, more efficient management of natural resources and strengthened coping capacity in the face of extreme weather events linked to climate change.
“The Government of Japan is committed to promoting sustainable development. We intend to support these countries in achieving a more climate-resilient future through our strong partnership with UNDP,” the Permanent Mission of Japan to the United Nations said in a written statement.
“Many Pacific nations have developed blueprints to combat multiplying climate crises, despite their negligible role in greenhouse gas emissions. We are working with 16 countries in the Pacific to support them to enhance their climate ambitions,” said Kanni Wignaraja.
“We must take bold steps towards a climate resilient green future in the Pacific, and we’re delighted to have the support of the Government of Japan in a joint effort that stands to benefit over half a million people on the islands,” Ms Wignaraja said.
Leaders of Small Island Developing States (SIDS) see climate action as a matter of survival for their nations, faced with more frequent and extreme weather events which threaten to undo decades of economic development.
Many SIDS nations are already taking the initiative to achieve a clean energy future by embracing policies and technologies that can place them on a net-zero emissions pathway.
Leaders of the Pacific Islands have consistently highlighted the urgency of limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees through rapid, deep and sustained reductions in greenhouse gas emissions.
This reduction can be achieved through adoption of ‘net-zero’ policies that do not add more carbon emission into the atmosphere. With renewable energy production at the forefront of these policies, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Timor-Leste and Vanuatu have committed to scaling up renewable energy production including 100% renewable energy in the electricity sector by 2030.
The project will leverage the expertise of UNDP’s Climate Promise portfolio to support each country to transition toward net zero and climate resilient pathways, in line with their commitments enshrined in the Paris Agreement, guided by the vision of human security for all.
The highlights of the new initiative in each of the project countries include:
Papua New Guinea: Construction of three solar farms to supply renewable and reliable energy for a more sustainable and climate resilient for the people of the Autonomous Region of Bougainville.
Samoa: Investing in the adoption of electrical vehicles and outboard motors in support of Samoa’s global commitments for the energy and transport sector by 2030.
Timor-Leste: Ensuring access to reliable and clean energy. The project will solarize the National Medical Store that houses all medical supplies and medicines for the entire country. Additionally, it will provide off-grid solar-powered lighting and improved cooking stoves to 1,000 households that will significantly reduce their consumption of firewood. The project will also renovate and set up 15 solar-powered ICT labs in general secondary and vocational schools.
Vanuatu: Installation of 8 Pico hydro projects contributing to the Government of Vanuatu’s goal of achieving 100% electrification with renewable energy by 2030.
Under the UN Development Programme’s Climate Promise 90 percent of developing countries have increased their mitigation ambition and 95% of them have increased their adaptation ambition.
Mahtab Haider, Communications Specialist, UNDP Bangkok Regional Hub, firstname.lastname@example.org
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