U.S hosts first-ever Clean Energy workshop and Women in Clean Energy conference for the Pacific Islands

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In collaboration with the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC), the United States is hosting the first-ever Clean Energy Workshop and Pacific Women in Energy Conference from October 4-6 in Suva to support the Pacific Islands’ clean energy transition and climate adaptation efforts.

Led by U.S Department of State Bureau of Energy Resources Deputy Assistant Secretary (DAS) Laura Lochman, the events feature the launch of the U.S. Department of State’s Women in Energy Strategy and a signing ceremony for a US$100,000 biogas project to continue assisting Pacific Island countries achieve their clean energy goals.

“Renewable and clean energy will expand access to affordable and reliable power while creating economic opportunities and increasing Pacific resilience. Globally, decarbonization is the only way to mitigate the worst effects of climate change, and Pacific countries are on the frontline.” The United States is working to strengthen our cooperation with the Pacific Islands to develop clean energy and climate adaptation initiatives,” said DAS Lochman.

“Women’s leadership and participation throughout the energy sector has never been more crucial for success, because diverse voices spur innovation, and women and children traditionally suffer the most from the negative impacts of climate change – from changes in water availability and loss of subsistence crops, to health effects and loss of economic or educational opportunity.”

At the clean energy workshop, DAS Lochman announced the official launch of the U.S. Department of State’s Women in Energy Strategy. This Strategy, rolling out in Southeast Asia and the Pacific to start, will engage local energy officials, utilities, private companies, and educational and research bodies to commit to the institutional changes, policies and practices that will increase women’s access new energy sector policy and business opportunities, and jobs.

DAS Lochman joined SPC Deputy Director General Dr. Paula Vivili and Tuvalu High Commissioner Dr Eselealofa Apinelu in signing a US$100,000 grant from the U.S. Department of State. The grant will fund 20 Domestic Biogas Systems in Funafuti, Tuvalu to help transition households to a more sustainable energy source while also reducing environmental pollution.

SPC’s Deputy Director General Science and Capability, Dr Paula Vivili, reiterated that Pacific leaders have declared their intention to make the region carbon neutral by 2050. This is expected to not only support the Pacific Sustainable Development targets, but also help to spur economic activities and job creation as the region increases its investment in clean energy infrastructure.

“As the lead agency supporting the PICTs energy transition from fossil fuel to renewable sources, SPC is working with many partners including national, regional and international agencies to realize 100% energy access and ultimately to achieve carbon neutral economies in our region.”

U.S Embassy Chargé d’Affaires Tony Greubel said, “The United States remains deeply committed to a resilient and secure Pacific Islands region. This workshop and conference underscore our commitment to be a strong partner in the Pacific Islands’ just and inclusive clean energy transition and climate adaptation efforts.”

The event follows the inaugural United States-Pacific Island Country Summit, held in Washington, DC 28-29 September. he Summit reflected broadening and deepening U.S.-Pacific cooperation on key issues such as climate change, clean energy, pandemic response, economic recovery, maritime security, environmental protection, and advancing a free and open Indo-Pacific.

SOURCE: US EMBASSY/PACNEWS