New Zealand to host Pacific energy summit

Foreign Affairs Minister Murray McCully today announced New Zealand will co-host a Pacific regional energy summit designed to achieve “a quantum leap forward” in the implementation of clean and affordable energy and reducing reliance on fossil fuel. Mr McCully says the conference will be a legacy of New Zealand’s year as Forum Chair, designed to translate renewable energy talk into action. “At last year’s Forum in Auckland, leaders made a strong commitment to the promotion of clean and affordable energy through the Waiheke Declaration on Sustainable Economic Development,” Mr McCully says. In the past 12 months, Pacific countries have made considerable progress towards energy independence. To keep up this momentum and create opportunities for further investments in energy efficiency and renewable energy, New Zealand and the European Union will host a Pacific regional energy summit early next year. The World Bank, Asian Development Bank, and Australia have agreed to co-sponsor this event.

The summit is designed to connect development partners, private sector investors and Pacific countries to help fast-track the region’s conversion to renewable energy sources. Mr McCully says, “We are talking to other partners – such as the United States, United Arab Emirates and Japan – and welcome participation from a wide range of partners,”.

The summit will be held in New Zealand in April 2013.

Additional information:

–       New Zealand is in the process of designing a $10.5 million assistance package for the Cook Islands for the construction of renewable electricity systems on Rarotonga and the outer islands

–       The Cook Islands and Tuvalu are aiming to generate 100 per cent of their electricity from renewable sources by 2020

–       New Zealand is supporting the installation of solar panels in Tokelau, with the aim of bringing it close to 100 per cent reliant on solar energy by 2013

–       Tonga now has one of the largest solar plants in the Pacific