20 SIDS announce new actions that reduce dependence on fossil fuels and end poverty

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An Achieving Sustainable Energy for All in Small Island Developing States Conference wrapped up this week with the adoption of the "Barbados Declaration", calling for universal access to modern and affordable renewable energy services, while protecting environment, ending poverty and creating new opportunities for economic growth.

The declaration, adopted just weeks before the UN Conference on Sustainable Development 'Rio+20', includes an annex with voluntary commitments of 20 Small Island Developing States (SIDS) to take actions toward providing universal access to energy, switching to renewable energy and reducing dependence on fossil fuels.

The declaration recognizes the importance of the UN Secretary General's Sustainable Energy for All initiative and that today's energy issues cannot be resolved unilaterally, but rather through open dialogue and cooperation. 

The declaration states that the delegates "remain deeply concerned that most SIDS are highly dependent on imported oil and other fossil fuels for transport and electricity generation and this is a major source of economic vulnerability for SIDS. This leaves SIDS highly exposed to oil-price volatility."

The Barbados Declaration emphasizes that there are commercially feasible options in many small island states for providing energy such as wind, solar, geothermal, and oceans energy. 

"However", the declaration states "these technologies must be made accessible, affordable and adaptable to the needs and particular circumstances of SIDS communities. "In this regard, we strongly urge the international community, particularly developed countries, to ensure the provision of financial resources, technology transfer and capacity building to SIDS."

 This is Donn Bobb reporting.

Duration: 1’40″

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