Pacific Energy and Transport Ministers have called for Leaders to consider the development of a Pacific Energy Commissioner and called on developed countries and major emitters to meet their commitments and ensure access to funding for the Pacific to transition away from reliance on fossil fuels at the 5th Pacific Regional Energy and Transport Ministerial Meeting.
Ministers and representatives from 20 Pacific countries adopted the Efate Outcome Statement at this ministerial meeting hosted by Vanuatu Government in Port Vila convened by the Pacific Community (SPC).
Vanuatu Minister for Climate Change, Adaptation, Meteorology, Geo-Hazards, Energy, Environment and Disaster Management the Honourable Ralph Regenvanu co-chaired the Pacific Energy and Ministerial Meeting and commended the unified commitment by Ministers.
“The strong outcome of the day is trying to push forward all the work the countries are doing including the Pacific Community (SPC) and the partners. We are encouraging financing which is the critical element of this call that came out which asks for development partners to increase their efforts to support members to mobilise new, additional, scaled up, timely and predictable funding.”
Pacific Energy and Transport Ministers also called for Leaders to establish a Pacific Energy Commissioner to drive the acceleration required for the 64% of Pacific people that still lack access to regular power supply whilst preparing our region to reduce fossil fuel reliance.
“There has been a call from this meeting to the leaders to consider establishing an office of the Pacific Energy Commissioner and it was a key ask of the Port Vila Call and it happened here. We will contribute our lobbying efforts to see if we can get this established by our Leaders,” he said.
SPC’s Director of Geoscience, Energy and Maritime Ms Rhonda Robinson said as the region’s mandated organisation on energy security and maritime transport, our team stands ready to support country priorities towards a carbon-neutral region whilst increasing access to sustainable energy and maritime services for all Pacific people.
“As SPC our role is really to get behind our national government members and consolidate and bring some coherence around the region’s priorities".
I acknowledge the Minister’s commitment to increase access to the energy and maritime sectors for our women and girls with a bold position in the Efate Outcome Statement to find practical ways to ensure we have more women engineers, renewable energy experts, decision-makers in the community level and seafarers which supports us all for the prosperity of our Blue Pacific,” she said.
Ministers also agreed the 6th Pacific Energy and Transport Ministers Meeting will be held in Papua New Guinea in 2026.
Efate Outcome Statement here https://purl.org/spc/digilib/doc/8k5hz
Website and information papers here https://gem.spc.int/meetings/5th-pacific-regional-energy-and-transport-ministers-meeting-2023