Island leaders endorse renewables action plan

An action plan developed in June among Small Island Developing States (SIDS) concerning the ramp-up of renewable energy has been given approval by island leaders.

The Martinique Action Plan (MAP) outlines practical steps for renewable energy deployment for developing island nations, and has targeted – under the umbrella of the SIDS IRENA Island Lighthouse Initiative (launched at the UN Secretary General’s Climate Summit in 2014) – the installation of 100 MW of solar PV and 20 MW of wind power.

"The Martinique Action Plan aims to advance the goal of mobilizing the human, financial and technical resources to sustainably transition the energy system of SIDS," said IRENA director of Knowledge Policy and Finance, Henning Wuester. "It will live and grow as the basis for follow-up events in Hawaii in July, in Bangkok in August and in Cape Town in September – all on the road to Paris in December."

The UN summit on climate change in Paris later this year is a hotly anticipated gathering of world leaders, and one that the SIDS are keeping a close eye on.

The action plan comprises 27 SIDS and 19 development partners, and will seek to mobilize an investment fund of around $500 million to ensure that all participating SIDS are on the road towards greater renewable development.

The lead negotiator of the Association of Small Island Developing States (AOSIS), Hugh Sealy, said that the MAP could "form a solid basis for immediate actions by islands and partners to mitigate and strengthen resilience to climate change" and "showcase the positive contribution of renewable energy".

Further elements of the MAP include a greater focus on waste-to-energy systems to better manage island waste, renewable-powered desalination systems and greater renewable integration on island grids.