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Bonn, Germany 15 November, 2017: The COP23 Climate Conference has been a special place for the Pacific this year. Today the Republic of Palau signed of the instrument of accession to the Pacific Islands Development Forum (PIDF) making it the organisation’s 14th member (12 member state). Following the signing of the accession document, Palau, PIDF and Solar Head of State signed an MOU for Palau to benefit from the installation of solar panels on a yet to be determined government building.

The signing of the accession document was undertaken by Hon. Umi Sengebau, Minister of Environment of Palau on behalf of H.E the President of the Republic of Palau, Tommy E. Remengesau Jr.

“Today was another historical day for the PIDF when we welcome Palau as our newest member of the PIDF family but believe me it was no easy task as it took us nearly two years to demonstrate to Palau what we are truly capable of in terms of our genuine partnerships, our unique governance structure with inclusivity of both the public and private sectors and our commitment to high ambition action on climate change action across our Pacific  member countries,” said the PIDF Secretary General, François Martel during the signing ceremony.

During the ceremony Hon. Umi Sengebau, acknowledged the work undertaken by PIDF through its partners and members in the Pacific especially in the area of advocating and implementing of renewable energy projects.

“We look forward to working closely with Palau on various initiatives that will be coming up from our Strategic Plan, on our climate change roadmap and the PIDF’s work on building climate resilience through development of green and blue economies, among others,” said Secretary General Martel.

Palau’s expertise and experience in international negotiations is something a lot of our other members can benefit from and we will be looking at how we can work collaboratively with Palau in some of these key areas while delivering our mandate through our growing partnerships and memberships.”

The installation of solar on government buildings is symbolic of Palau and other Pacific states’ leadership on renewable energy and will serve as a physical embodiment of the government’s commitment to fighting climate change and using renewable energy.

The Pacific continues to demonstrate strong leadership by virtue of its ambitious renewable energy goals, including Palau’s aim to reach 45% renewable energy by 2025. Just last year Palau unveiled a new solar-hybrid desalinization plant capable of generating over 200 meters cubed of fresh water per day.

PIDF Secretary General François Martel said of the event, “we are thrilled to have Palau join both the Pacific Islands Development Forum and Solar Head of State on the same day. This is a huge step towards great intra-Pacific cooperation following the recent MoU with Tonga which was also done here at COP23.”

Solar Head of State Director James Ellsmoor said, “COP23 has really highlighted the leadership of the Pacific. We are delighted that Palau has joined other island nations like Tonga and Jamaica to showcase solar energy in such a prominent way.”

As a member of PIDF Palau will benefit from a platform for cooperation between island states that prioritizes the re-balancing of the three pillars of development: society, environment and economy. Both PIDF and the Republic of Palau are members of the Global Island Partnership.