As Ministers, high level officials and technical specialists on energy and transport convene in Port Vila for the 5th Pacific Regional Energy and Transport Ministers’ Meeting (PRETMM), Pacific civil society groups are calling for high ambition outcomes.

The meeting takes place from 08 – 12 May and will see regional Ministers discuss progress and commitments towards providing sustainable, modern, and efficient energy services, and sustainable, reliable, and safe transportation and mobility in the Pacific region.

The meeting also takes place a little over a month after Ministers from Pacific Island nations convened in Port Vila for a Ministerial Dialogue on Pathways for the Global Just Transition away from Fossil Fuels, which delivered an ambitious call for a Fossil Fuel Free Pacific – committed to by six Pacific governments; namely Vanuatu, Tuvalu, Tonga, Fiji, Niue, and the Solomon Islands.

The Pacific Islands Climate Action Network (PICAN) is calling on Pacific governments to secure an outcome that will see the energy and transport sectors rapidly decarbonise through just, and equitable transition. Ensuring energy independence and resource resilience, and enabling sustainable maritime transport is a matter of survival for Pacific peoples and nations. 36 percent of Pacific population lacks access to electricity, posing challenges to their everyday needs.

Lavetanalagi Seru, the Regional Coordinator for PICAN says, “This meeting is an opportunity for the energy and transport ministers in the region to accelerate the efforts for a just, fair, and equitable transition away from fossil fuels. A new Pacific tailored development pathway based on renewable energy is in the interest of Pacific Island people and communities, who are not only at the forefront of the climate crisis – resulting from the continued production of fossil fuels, but there are also large parts of communities in the Pacific that are facing energy poverty. These efforts must be underpinned by the principles of equity, justice, free and prior informed consent, and human rights, where people and communities are included and empowered in the just-transition process”.