The 5th Pacific Regional Energy and Transport Ministers meeting has recommended the establishment of a Pacific Energy Commissioner for a Just and Equitable Transition to a Fossil Fuel Free Pacific.
Chairperson of the meeting and Vanuatu’s Minister for Climate Change and Energy, Ralph Regenvanu said the Pacific Energy Commissioner would negotiate and advocate energy issues on behalf of the region.
The establishment of a Pacific Energy Commission is one of the items in the Port Vila Treaty for a Just Transition to a Fossil Fuel Free Pacific, which was signed by Vanuatu, Fiji, Tonga, Tuvalu, Solomon Islands and Niue in March this year.
Mr Regenvanu said the establishment of the commissioner would be presented to the Forum Economic and Ministers Meeting and the Pacific Forum Leaders meeting to be hosted by hosted by the Cook Islands in November this year.
After a five-day meeting in Vanuatu, the 5th Pacific Regional Energy and Transport Ministers meeting resolved to call on Pacific Island leaders to consider the formal endorsement of the Port Vila Call to Action at the PIF Leaders Meeting
The meeting also agreed to pursue a “unified, urgent, strong, and regional position to phase out fossil fuels” whilst acknowledging that the pathway is not immediate nor that one-size fits all, and that it must be implemented in a nationally determined way in recognition that all of PICTs are still dependent on fossil fuels, are highly vulnerable to the worsening impacts of climate change, are not responsible for the climate crisis, and have limited financial, technical and human capacity.
There is a also a call for Pacific Island countries to work together to strengthen the international legal frameworks that motivate decarbonisation and the mobilisation of adequate climate finance.