UNOSD Recommends Steps for Renewable Energy Transitions in Island States
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The UN Office for Sustainable Development (UNOSD) has published a report that analyzes fossil fuel subsidy reforms and renewable energy transitions in Small Island Developing States (SIDS) in the Indian Ocean and Atlantic African coast.

The report makes a series of policy recommendations regarding the most important policy areas for fossil fuel to renewable energy (FFRE) transitions.

UNOSD3 February 2015: The UN Office for Sustainable Development (UNOSD) has published a report that analyzes fossil fuel subsidy reforms and renewable energy transitions in Small Island Developing States (SIDS) in the Indian Ocean and Atlantic African coast. The report makes a series of policy recommendations regarding the most important policy areas for fossil fuel to renewable energy (FFRE) transitions.

The report, titled ‘Fossil Fuel to Renewable Energy: Comparator Study of Subsidy Reforms and Energy Transitions in African and Indian Ocean Island States,’ notes that “there is an increasing focus and innovation in island states on renewable energy, and for energy transitions along the post-2015 development agenda,” with a number of island states adopting policies aimed at reducing fossil fuel import dependence. The report argues that, in order for these FFRE transitions to be successful, a number of key measures need to be implemented with urgency and determination.

The report finds that, since most island states are market economies, prices are a key tool for influencing investment and consumption decisions, and suggests that these states should identify the best ways to benefit from the falling prices of renewable energy technologies.

The study makes recommendations in the areas of: fiscal space and environmental fiscal reform; mobilizing investment; policy mainstreaming and transition roadmaps; overcoming barriers to reform; and working together. On creating an economic climate that fosters FFRE transitions, the report recommends, inter alia: environmental taxation and subsidy reform; regional coordination and harmonization of fiscal policies in the tourism and aviation sectors; and regular monitoring and reporting of government revenues and expenditures. On working together, the study calls for island states to create strong renewable energy stakeholder networks, share innovative developments and research findings, and collaborate on research and pilot projects, noting that some networking initiatives are already underway that will “greatly contribute to nurture the community of FFRE practitioners among island states in the coming years.”

The policy recommendations specifically target the island states that participated in a capacity-building workshop organized by UNOSD and the Maurice Ile Durable Commission (MID), which took place in Mauritius from 12-16 May 2014. [UNOSD Press Release] [UNOSD Publication Summary] [Publication: Fossil Fuel to Renewable Energy] [UNOSD FFRE Transition Workshop Webpage]

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