Here is how Small Islands - Large Ocean States are putting big renewable energy commitments at the heart of climate ambition
Renewable energy offers SIDS vast opportunities/
While Small Island Developing States (SIDS) account for less than 1 per cent of global gross domestic product and greenhouse gas emissions, they possess formidable influence on the global climate ambition and action.
Sustainable energy presents vast socioeconomic opportunities for islands including energy security, climate resilience, economic development and energy access.
Renewables translate directly into better quality of life and services, positive environmental impacts and higher productivity.
SIDS are building a sustainable energy future
Total installed capacity of renewables for all SIDS accounted for about 5.3 GW in the end of 2019, of which 665 MW was installed in the last year.
Globally, installed capacity in all SIDS has already outstripped the target of 5 GW by 2023, established under the SIDS Lighthouses Initiative.
Renewable energy uptake accelerates on SIDS
Of the 665 MW installed by the SIDS in 2019, 220 MW was wind, 380 MW was solar energy, 55 MW bioenergy and 10 MW hydropower.
The total installed renewables capacity represented 14.4 per cent growth on SIDS in 2019, double global growth of 7.6% in percentage terms, over the same period.
SIDS need more support to achieve climate pledges
While the COVID-19 pandemic has significantly slowed emissions, SIDS continue to drive momentum for greater renewable energy ambition towards a 1.5-degree world.
Investment remains a key challenge. According to IRENA analysis on the first round of NDCs, USD16 billion is still needed to align SIDS energy systems with emission reductions targets by 2030.
SIDS strengthen renewables under climate pledges
Most SIDS have included renewable energy as an important component in their national energy policy frameworks, roadmaps and low emission development strategies.
Renewable energy targets featured in 85 per cent of SIDS’s NDCs in the first round, more than the global average where renewables targets featured in 70 per cent of NDCs.
NDC implementation requires strong partnerships
International cooperation and collaborations between governments, regional and multilateral institutions, the public and private sector is needed to drive SIDS energy transformation.
Such partnerships are crucial to facilitate the implementation of NDCs in SIDS, and to make the energy transition sustainable.
SIDS announced the ‘Ambitious SIDS Climate Action Summit Package’ as part of efforts to reinforce sustainable energy progress.
Climate change influencers. Renewable energy leaders.
SIDS are bold and resolute nations that through their actions are laying down a blueprint for others to follow. From rapid renewables deployment, to ambitious climate targets – small island developing states are big influencers on the climate and energy stage.