News from South East Asia and the Pacific

As the team of the Regional Secretariat will be travelling for most December, we would like to take the opportunity of this last news from the Region of 2010 to thank all REEEP Partners and Friends for your continued support. We hope the year has been at least as rewarding for you as it has been for us and we look forward to working with you in 2011.

World Energy Outlook 2010 looks at energy poverty

The 2010 edition of the World Energy Outlook (WEO) was released on 9 November 2010 and it looks, i.a., at the crucial importance of energy in achieving Millennium Development Goals. It shows that over 20% of the global population, 1.4 billion people, lack access to electricity and some 40% of the global population, 2.7 billion people, rely on the traditional use of biomass for cooking. >> Read more

MDG priorities in Asia and the Pacific – where are we standing?

The UN Development Programme (UNDP), together with the UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP) and the Asian Development Bank (ADB), released the report “Paths to 2015: MDG Priorities in Asia and the Pacific” to provide an update of the status toward achieving the eight Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) in Asia and the Pacific. The paper reveals mixed results across countries in the region. >> Read more >> Read report >> Find out more about the MDG

SIDS in Cancun spotlight at AOSIS meeting

The Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS) held an Informal Ministerial Consultation on Climate Change from 1-2 November 2010 in St. George’s, Grenada. The aim of the Ministerial Consultation was to discuss the AOSIS position in preparation for the 16th session of the UNFCCC Conference of the Parties (COP 16) to be held in Cancun, Mexico. The speeches given by the UNDP and World Bank representatives in particular made a strong case for Small Islands Developing States. >> Read UNDP speech >> Read WB speech

Participate in the 2011 Summer Institute on Climate Information for Public Health

The International Research Institute for Climate and Society, in partnership with the Center for International Earth Science Information Network (CIESIN) and the Mailman School of Public Health will be hosting the Summer Institute 2011 course on Climate Information for Public Health from 16 to 27 May 2011, at the Earth Institute, Columbia University, New York. >> Read more >> Apply

Policy Developments:

“Responding to Climate Change in the Pacific: Moving from Strategy to Action”

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the World Bank organized a workshop on “Responding to Climate Change in the Pacific: Moving from Strategy to Action,” in Nadi, Fiji, on 13-14 October 2010. The event brought together 14 representatives of the ADB and senior representatives from international and regional agencies, development partners and NGOs. Workshop participants underscored the need to strengthen the climate policy of the Pacific region and improve the coping abilities, as well as the importance for national governments to receive support and constructive engagement by development partners. >> Read more

14th Forum Economic Ministers’ Meeting discusses FICs economies and climate change financing

The 14th Forum Economic Ministers’ Meeting (FEMM) held in Alofi, Niue, on 27 – 28 October has endorsed measures which are considered essential to expand the economic base of Forum island countries (FICs), by refocusing the agenda of the Meeting to issues concerning the economic development of member countries. >> Read more The meeting also tackled options for the Pacific region to improve access to, and management of, climate change financing. The emphasize was put on the need of a thorough review of the necessary country and regional technical assistance and coordination requirements for policy analysis and proposals, national planning and implementation capacity and capabilities in the distribution of funds in the Pacific region. >> Read more

Pacific organizations discuss increased cooperation in climate-related assistance

The Chief Executives of the Council of Regional Organizations in the Pacific (CROP) have agreed to renew efforts in cooperating to address regional climate change issues. Among the next steps identified by the Committee are: greater joint programming and information sharing; improved communication on delivering advice to Pacific island countries; and more effective delivery in addressing climate change. The meeting was also an opportunity to talk strategy and pool efforts prior to major regional and international meetings to be held over the next three months, including the Forum Economic Ministers meeting and the global climate change talks of the Conference of Parties in Mexico. >> Read more

Project Developments

Pacific Hydro Unveils US$800m Chilean hydro projects

At a formal ceremony in Chile on Tuesday 26 October 2010, Australia’s renewable energy company Pacific Hydro unveiled the La Higuera and La Confluencia run-of-river hydro power stations. The ceremony was attended by the Chilean President, Mr. Sebastián Piñera Echenique who also opened the two projects along with taking an extensive tour of the site. >> Read more

Niue renewable energy project gives confidence in solar PV

Solar PV is gaining confidence as an appropriate technology in the Pacific region and in tropical conditions, as another renewable energy project will be supported in the region: a 75.0 kWp grid-connected solar PV system in Niue.

The power of the river

Villagers in remote districts of Negros Occidental, Philippines, are ending their isolation from economic opportunities with the aid of hydropower. ADB’s Japan Fund for Poverty Reduction funded a renewable energy project implementing three micro hydropower plants in the region. With an aggregate output of 88 kW, they will provide energy to 308 homes and to rice and corn mills. >> Read more

A bright idea for energy reduction

Prodded by persistent power shortages, the Philippines government has turned to the humble light bulb to help end debilitating power failures in major urban centers, such as Cebu City. The Philippines is thus replacing energy-wasting light bulbs with more efficient fluorescent bulbs, promising to save millions of pesos—and bulbs—and to reduce debilitating power failures. >> Read more

Finance:

SPREP calling for comments to report on Climate Financing

SPREP has released a draft report on the future of climate financing identifying options for more effective delivery of climate funds to Pacific countries, including a possible Pacific regional fund for climate change. SPREP are collecting and synthesising comments into a new revised report, to be discussed at the 2011 Pacific Climate Change Roundtable scheduled for March 2011 in Niue. >> Read more >> Download the report here

Fast-start finance for developing countries

At the climate talks in Copenhagen in December 2009, developed countries committed to provide US$30 billion in the period 2010 to 2012 to support developing countries’ action on climate change. This “fast start” finance is intended to help developing countries in their enhanced efforts to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions and adapt to already unavoidable changes in the earth’s climate system. >> Read more

Barefoot Power wins G-20 SME Finance Challenge competition

After winning three Lighting Africa awards, Barefoot Power is now one of 14 winners, among 350 proposals, to win the G-20 SME Finance Challenge competition – thanks to its innovative trade finance fund project. Together with the Dutch microfinance investor Oikocredit and the European Infrastructure Fund, Barefoot Power is offering short-term loans to SMEs to sell microbusiness solutions designed by the company. This ‘Venture Debt’ model allows SMEs and micro-entrepreneurs to grow quickly from start-up level through successful sales, with 100% growth rates often achieved in the first 6-12 months.

Microfinance to Papua New Guinea’s rescue

Following devastating volcanic eruptions in October 2004 on remote Manam Island, and the subsequent complete evacuation to the mainland of the island’s 10,000 inhabitants, many of the islanders have returned home. They are trying to rebuild, and are assisted in that enterprise by improved banking solutions. >> Read more

UNFCCC Asia and Pacific regional workshop on preparing technology transfer projects for financing

The UNFCCC Secretariat has held a regional training workshop on 26-28 October 2010 in Singapore on preparing technology transfer projects for financing. Participants, which included representatives from Fiji, Maldives, Singapore, Palau, Solomon Islands and Samoa, were trained in preparing project proposals for financing, with special attention to risk management and financial structuring. >> Read more

Energy and UN experts raise awareness about investment for energy poverty

Because significantly increasing access to modern energy services in developing countries requires strong and immediate action; because energy access is crucial to enhance economic and social development, reduce poverty, and contribute to international security, the Geopolitics of Energy journal published in its October-November 2010 issue a paper written by several UNIDO and energy experts aiming at “Understanding the Scale of Investment for Universal Energy Access”. >> Read paper

Energy for All:

Side Event at COP-16 on Universal Energy Access

On 8 December 2010, ADB, through the Energy for All Partnership, will be hosting an official side event during COP 16 in Cancun in partnership with the UN Foundation and SNV Netherlands Development Organization. The side event discuss the proposed goal of universal energy access by 2030. The session will emphasize practical solutions that are working in the various regions and technologies represented where these approaches may be able to scale further. The Energy for All Partnership will discuss the interventions it has undertaken and the barriers that remain to energy access in Asia and the Pacific. >> Read more

Energy poverty in Asia-Pacific must be tackled

One fifth of Asia-Pacific’s population – some 800 million – still lack reliable access to energy. Investments in renewable energy will be able to help lift a large chunk of Asia-Pacific’s population out of energy poverty, said energy experts attending the Clean Energy Expo Asia held in Singapore in early November 2010, which brings policymakers and energy experts together to discuss key issues in the areas of sustainable energy in the Asia-Pacific region. This year, the UN Advisory Group on Energy and Climate Change has called for universal access to energy by 2030. >> Read more

Steering committee welcomes acceleration

In their meeting in Singapore on Nov 4th, the Energy for All Partnership Steering Committee decided to accelerate the development of replication projects by the working groups. A donor forum for presenting the projects will be organised in Manila in June 2011. >> Read more

Lighting for All Initiative launched at DIREC 2010

The “Lighting for All” platform, which is a part of the “Energy for All Partnership,’’ aims to provide access to clean, affordable, and reliable modern lighting for 50 million people in Asia and the Pacific region by 2015. The platform will encourage the replication and expansion of proven business models that supply low-cost solar products to consumers living “off grid.” There is a huge potential market for clean and affordable energy, as poor households currently spend an estimated $38 billion globally on kerosene and other flame-based lighting sources. >> Read more Download REEEP’s report on how to divert kerosene expenditure to clean lighting

Invitation to participate in e8 survey on PPPs

e8 and UNDESA are establishing a global report on the best practices in public private partnerships for strengthening deployment of low carbon technology in developing countries. The initiative starts with a global survey. e8 invites all partner organizations to complete the survey. >> Read more

Domestic Biogas Working Group Meeting in Cambodia

The International Workshop on Inclusive Planning and Financing of National Programs on Domestic Biogas in Asia was held on 10-12 November 2010 in Phnom Penh, Cambodia with more than 120 participants from 20 countries. >>Read more

ADB supports establishment of the Asia Solar Energy Forum

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) will provide a US$2 million technical assistance grant to establish the Asia Solar Energy Forum, a knowledge sharing and communication platform for sector stakeholders to exchange information on how to accelerate and expand the use of solar power. >> Read more

Country Spotlight – Republic of the Marshall Islands:

RMI towards a more energy-efficient electricity consumption

In September 2009, the government of the Republic of the Marshall Islands endorsed a revised National Energy Policy and Energy Action Plan. One of the broad goals for the development of energy services under this revised National Energy Policy is to improve the efficiency of energy use in 50% of households and businesses, and 75% of government buildings by 2020. >> Read more

Information:

Tonga Energy Road Map looking for a technical analyst

The TERM Implementation Unit invites interested and eligible applicants to submit their Expression of Interest for the position of technical analyst by 4.30pm, Friday 10 December 2010. >> Read more and apply

Report: G20 “neither revealing nor removing” fossil fuel subsidies

As G20 leaders prepare to meet in South Korea, two NGOs have released the first independent evaluation of the success of the G20 pledge to phase out fossil fuel subsidies: “G20 Fossil-Fuel Subsidy Phase Out:
A review of current gaps and needed changes to achieve success”. The report reveals large gaps in the reporting of subsidies, and that no new actions have been taken by G20 nations as a result of their commitment in Pittsburgh to phase out fossil fuel subsidies. >> Read more >> Read report

SPC launches e-Pacific Island Countries online portal

The Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC) has launched an online portal, titled “e-Pacific Island Countries” (e-PIC), The portal is expected to generate a significant increase in the dissemination and exchange of relevant information and knowledge among regional and international ICT agencies and Pacific island governments and communities. >> Read more

UNDP and PIFS launch Pacific Solution Exchange

The UN Development Programme, the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat, the Asian Development Bank and the University of the South Pacific have launched the Pacific Solution Exchange (PSE), an email-based “e-Discussion” forum that will seek to connect people with common interests, enhance south-south and small island State cooperation, and broaden the dialogue around Pacific issues to inform decision-making. >> Read more >> Try the Pacific Solution Exchange

Pacific Solution Exchange launches discussion on effective resourcing for climate change

The Pacific Solution Exchange has launched a facilitated online discussion on the topic of “Effective Resourcing to Address Climate Change”, and is inviting participants to share views, experiences and good practices from within the Pacific, from other Small Island Developing States (SIDS), and internationally, in addressing this issue. >> Sign up and contribute

The 2010 Pacific Plan Annual Progress Report released

The Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat released the 2010 Pacific Plan Annual Progress Report to provide an overview of work undertaken from May 2009 to mid 2010 by Forum Island member countries and the agencies of the Council of Regional Organizations in the Pacific to implement the Pacific Plan priorities endorsed in 2009, including the progress made on energy security across the Pacific region. >> Download the report here

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