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INDIA SUPPORTS THE SOLARISATION OF RESIDENCES OF HEADS OF STATE OF PIDF MEMBER COUNTRIES

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SUVA, Wednesday 10 October 2018: The Pacific Islands Development Forum (PIDF) has announced that the Government of India is supporting the solarisation of Head of State residences of PIDF member countries. Through the India-UN Development Partnership Fund operated by the United Nations Office of South-South Cooperation, it has made available USD 1 million for this initiative. The PIDF is implementing this initiative together with Solar Head of State (SHOS).

SHOS is a non-profit organisation that focuses on the installation of solar energy infrastructure to power prominent government buildings and promote renewable energy. In doing so, each country’s leadership is given first-hand experience with the proven benefits of sustainable technologies. SHOS has a proven track record and has already completed similar projects in the Maldives (Official Presidential Residence), St. Lucia (public residence of the Governor-General) and Jamaica (Office of the Prime Minister).

The initiative will start implementation in Palau, Tonga, Marshall Islands, Nauru, Kiribati and Fiji. Through this project the PIDF headquarters will also be solarised supporting PIDF’s aim to move to net-zero emissions by 2020.

Each system installed would become a demonstration project to inspire the mass adoption of solar energy and other renewable energy technologies by the citizens of the country and around the world. The projects will be used as a way of engaging the general public on the benefits of renewable energy through an effective media campaign and community outreach and demonstrate the moral leadership of the Pacific Islands on climate change.

Speaking about the project, the PIDF Secretary General François Martel thanked the India-UN Development Partnership Fund operated by the United Nations Office of South-South Cooperation for their generous financial support. He said this was a demonstration of how important and effective South-South Cooperation is becoming in today’s world. “India is making remarkable inroads in electrification of yet unserved sections of its population through deployment of renewable energy, abandoning the construction of planned coal-powered power stations and favouring the cleaner options provided by renewable energy,” he said.

“Pacific island countries are on the forefront of global climate change efforts. We know that in the years and decades to come things will get much worse for us and there is irrefutable scientific evidence that we must take action now if we are to avoid the worst impact of climate change. Pacific island countries deserve all the support of the international community to both mitigate against and adapt to climate change,” Mr Martel said.

SHOS director James Ellsmoor said that “this financial support from India is a very important development for this initiative as it allows implementation to start soon. PIDF and SHOS already have signed MOUs with the governments of Tonga and Palau in regards to the implementation of this project, and we will now pursue similar agreements with the other PIDF member countries.”

The project is expected to start implementation in early 2019.

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