SIDS DOCK, the Small Island Developing States (SIDS) Sustainable Energy and Climate Resilience Organization, has signed an agreement with the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), to collaborate on promoting the accelerated deployment of sustainable renewable energy systems in SIDS. The signing ceremony took place on Thursday, 5 November 2020, by means of a virtual conference between representatives in New York City, and Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.
In signing on behalf of SIDS DOCK, His Excellency Mr. Ronald J. Jumeau, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of the Republic of Seychelles to the United Nations (UN) and Chair of the SIDS DOCK Executive Council, welcomed the partnership with IRENA. “The intention is to jointly collaborate on information sharing, resource mobilization, support with project development and policy frameworks, and global and regional initiatives to help small islands meet the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), particularly Goal 7: Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all, and meeting their commitments under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Paris Agreement and their Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs),” he said.
The agreement is part of the SIDS DOCK work programme for “Building Resilience to Climate Change in Islands through the Energy Sector: South-South Cooperation for Sustainable Energy Development in Small Islands.”
Welcoming the new partnership, His Excellency Mr. Francesco La Camera, the Director-General of IRENA, said, “Small islands possess abundant renewable energy resources including solar, wind and ocean energy. These resources can play a significant role in building more robust, resilient and sustainable economies on small islands and will be the foundation of sustainable development. This agreement is yet another example of IRENA’s steadfast commitment to accelerating the transition to a low-carbon energy system in SIDS. The Agency will mobilise its full capabilities to support this transformation.”
Ambassador Jumeau noted that prior to the onset of the COVID-19 Pandemic in early-2020, the fifth Assembly of SIDS DOCK noted in September 2019, the progress countries were making in promoting the Blue Economy in SIDS, and that the establishment of the two regional sustainable energy centres in the Pacific and the Caribbean had helped kick-start a renewable energy and energy efficiency (RE&EE) revolution in SIDS.
The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with IRENA will help speed up a number of activities, including supporting the institutional strengthening and build-out of the technical and information infrastructure for the regional centres; development, review and implementation of energy policies, roadmaps and renewable readiness assessments; and the exploration and identification of marine energy potential will be a priority area of the cooperation and steps will be taken to build capacities and share knowledge on ocean technology.