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2000 Countdown to ICE-PAC

This is a summary of news reports submitted to HydrogenPacific.com in 2000. It provides a synopsis of how this initiative developed.

New Report on Renewable Energy on Small Islands Posted Saturday, 23September , 2000 by chesher
A new report, "Renewable Energy on Small Islands – Second Edition" is of special interest to the Pacific Islands initiative.

In the second global overview of renewable energy on small islands the Forum for Energy and Development (FED) presents information on 53 islands with experiences with renewable energy and/or plans for future renewable energy developments.

Small islands as well as big islands in regard to area, population and power system have utilized renewables, islands in all regions and climates are utilizing renewables and islands in the developing as well as developed world have experiences with renewable energy. Consequently, there is good potential for future co- operation, exchange and networking among islands – both between islands that are very far on the path of converting their energy systems into sustainable energy systems and between islands that have just started.

The objectives of the report are to:

a) document that renewable energy is a feasible option on islands in regard to environment, technology, organisation, economics etc. and

b) prepare for global co-operation and networking among islands that have decided to become a Renewable Energy Island, i.e. an island that are 100% self-sufficient from renewable energy sources.

The report can be downloaded in PDF-format at no charge(1.6 MB) at:


Additional information is available at http://www.energiudvikling.dk

Vanuatu Council of Ministers Resolves to attain a 100% Renewable energy economy based on hydrogen fuels. Posted Friday, 22September , 2000 by chesher
The Vanuatu Council of Ministers has resolved to achieve a 100% renewable energy economy based on the use of renewable energies and hydrogen fuels by 2020. Vanuatu is the first country in the Asia Pacific Region to make a formal whole-of-government resolution to achieve this goal. The Government requested immediate assistance from bilateral donors, experts in renewable energy technology, and regional organizations in the preparation of a design and feasibility study for an integrated, petroleum independent, hydrogen based renewable energy economy.

Vanuatu is especially determined to develop it's geothermal potential to produce electricity for local use and to the manufacture of hydrogen based fuels, such as methanol for home use and for export purposes.

The Government of Vanuatu will work closely with the private sector to assure that local companies, communities, and the Government have input into the design, installation, operation, maintenance, repair and replacement of the equipment.

Vanuatu wishes to alert all possible sources to this critical priority for bilateral and multilateral funding. They ask that their regional and international organizations, and especially the new renewable energy project at the SPC and also the ESCAP Pacific Operations Centre in Vila assist them by clearly reminding the industrial nations of their commitments under the 1999 22nd special session of the UN General Assembly mandate to the industrial nations to provide new and substantial funding and technology transfer to the small island developing states and the benefits to the industrial nations themselves of subsidizing their own hydrogen and renewable energy industries to replace fossil fuels that are now polluting the atmosphere and endangering the planet.

The full text of the resolution is available on the Government of Vanuatu website http://www.vanuatu.gov.vu/Energy/energy.html

Regional Action Programme for Environmentally Sound and Sustainable Development 2001-2005 Posted Friday, 8September , 2000 by chesher

The Ministerial Conference on Environment and Development in Asia and the Pacific 2000 held in Kita-Kyushu City, Japan, 31 August - 5 September 2000 established the REGIONAL ACTION PROGRAMME FOR ENVIRONMENTALLY SOUND AND SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT, 2001-2005.

One of the most ambitious and exciting initiatives in the RAP 2001-2005 is a plan to:

"Promote and assist a dedicated global project to create 100% renewable energy, hydrogen based economies in the small island developing states of the region."

The RAP calls for "Small island developing states and industrial countries wishing to participate in a global partnership to attain demonstration communities of 100% renewable energy economies based on hydrogen power promote this initiative locally and nationally and cooperate fully between all stakeholders to achieve this goal no later than 2020."

To accomplish this, the Conference recommended its member nations to, "Establish bilateral partnerships between developed and undeveloped countries for the transfer of technology and capitalization funds to advance the implementation of renewable energy and non-fossil fuel economies."

The plan will guide United Nations activities in the Asia Pacific Region for the next 5 years and all national governments, international agencies, NGOs, and the private sector are urged to participate with the initiative as a win-win scenario to:

* conduct research and development on developing 100% integrated renewable energy societies;
* lower carbon dioxide emissions (and gain carbon credits under the Kyoto protocol);
* provide subsidies to renewable energy manufacturers to assist in the rapid development of integrated renewable energy societies;
* meet the International accords of the Barbados Programme of Action;
* provide energy, employment and opportunity for development, especially in the rural small island developing states;
* reduce the cost of importing oil based fuels to the small island developing states.

The delegations from Tuvalu and Vanuatu were especially influential at the meeting. Supported by the other small island developing states, the renewable energy initiative was considered a highlight of the conference.

The Minister for Lands, Geology and Mines of the Republic of Vanuatu, Maxine Carlot Korman, presented a strong case for the initiative at the associated ECOASIA2000 conference. Minister Korman, who was head of AOSIS during the Earth Summit in Rio in 1992 reviewed the progress - or lack of progress - towards meeting the environmental requirements to lower global carbon dioxide outputs since the Summit.

The full text of Minister Korman is available at www.hydrogenpacific.com/participants/vanuatu/EcoAsia2000.html

The Government of Vanuatu supports the initiative for renewable energy economies. Posted Thursday, 10August , 2000 by chesher
The Hon. Barak Tame Sope Maautamate, Prime Minister of the Republic of Vanuatu fully supports the initiative to create renewable energy economies based on hydrogen fuels in the Pacific islands and especially in Vanuatu. The Prime Minister urged all Pacific island nations, industrial nations, manufacturers, associations and enthusiasts of renewable energy and hydrogen technology equipment to make use of the facilities offered by the www.hydrogenpacific.com Internet site. The full text of the Prime Minister's letter is available at http://www.hydrogenpacific.com/participants/vanuatu/vanuatupm.html

Government of New Caledonia supports renewable energy economies Posted Friday, 28July , 2000 by chesher
Jean Leques, President of the Government of New Caledonia, strongly endorsed the concept of a united global initiative to achieve renewable energy hydrogen based economies in the island nations and territories of the Pacific. The President urged all interested parties to use the collaborative www.HydrogenPacific.com Internet site to focus their efforts.

He said, "the initiative will assist in bringing a new era of energy with critical economic, social and environmental benefits for all peoples of the world."

The president urged manufacturers and engineers responsible for designing these renewable energy systems to participate in this initiative by posting information about their products and technological advancements, particularly in wind power, solar power and fuel cells on the www.HydrogenPacific.Com Internet site.

New Caledonia intends to utilize the product and manufacturer databases on www.HydrogenPacific.com for the design of renewable energy systems. The President said that his Government will "share the benefits of our considerable knowledge and experience of renewable energy with our neighbors in the Pacific Islands and benefit from learning about their experiences."

New Caledonia’s goal, in the end, is to achieve as complete a transition to renewable energy and hydrogen technology as possible. We wish to become a showcase for renewable energy and hydrogen technology in the eyes of the world.

Read the full letter in French on http://www.hydrogenpacific.com/participants/newcaledonia/presidentfrench.html

and the English translation can be found at http://www.hydrogenpacific.com/participants/newcaledonia/presidentenglish.html

Support Alliance Posted Sunday, 2July , 2000 by chesher
The regional and sub-regional organizations of the Asia Pacific with energy programs have begun an email program aimed at advancing renewable energy and hydrogen technologies in the small island developing states. At the outset, the cooperating organizations include:

The United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP), including the Energy Resources Section of the Environment and Natural Resources Development Division in Bangkok, Thailand and the Pacific Operation Centre in Port Vila, Vanuatu.
The South Pacific Applied Geoscience Commission (SOPAC) The Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC).

The support team is dedicated to building an effective support strategy as per the terms of the Resolution on Promotion of a sustainable energy future for small island States introduced on June 7th 2000 by the Cook Islands, Fiji, Kiribati, Tuvalu, and Vanuatu.

13 June, 2000 "Just as hydrogen power may be the oil of tomorrow, that's fine, so long as it's Shell hydrogen that everyone's buying. For my part, if the world thinks that carbon dioxide emissions should be reduced, I see this as an opportunity. The Stone Age didn't end because they ran out of stones -- but as a result of competition from the bronze tools, which better met people's needs. I feel there's something in the air -- people are ready to say that this is something we should do." -- Shell Oil Chief Jeroen van der Veer to the World Petroleum Congress June 13, 2000 Shell Invests in Green Future by Todd Nogier - CANOE

7 June, 2000 Resolution on Promotion of a sustainable energy future for small island States, introduced by

ESCAP's actions to the island States called for in the resolution are:

  • Facilitation of exchange of experiences with renewable energy technologies among developing island states in the region.
  • To convene and raise funds for an expert-level meeting to review ongoing activities and develop a project programme.
  • Assistance in fund raising and providing advisory services for programme formulation or review.
  • A report on the implementation of the resolution to the Special Body on Pacific Island Developing Countries and to the 58th commission session.

The resolution stressed the need for cooperation with other agencies and divisions of ESCAP such as the Development Research and Policy Analysis Division and the ESCAP Pacific Operations Center (EPOC).

31 May, 2000 Bangkok, Thailand: Special Body on Pacific Island Developing Countries calls for clean and renewable energy technologies for the provision of future energy needs in the Pacific region.

30 May, 2000 Berlin, Germany "We chose Berlin as the venue for our launch to make clear to politicians that we, the industry, are ready for this, and we want them to have a clear signal that we expect them to act." Johannes Neukirchen, BMW's Berlin Director "We feel that hydrogen, generated from a renewable resource such as sunlight, is the only viable long-term solution to providing an absolutely environmentally sound fuel." Henrich Heitmann, Board Member for BMW AG "In 2010 there should be a sufficient density of hydrogen filling stations all over Europe." Burkhard Goeschel, BMW R&D head

10 May, 2000 Bangkok, Thailand: Regional Review Meeting in Preparation for the Ministerial Conference on Environment and Development in Asia and the Pacific 8-10 May 2000 includes renewable energy, hydrogen based economies as a critical concern of the small island developing states for inclusion in the draft Regional Action Programme for environmentally sound and sustainable development, 2001-2005.

April 26, 2000 Washington DC: "Clearly, the federal government should increase its support for fuel cell commercialization and for enhanced research and development." U.S. Rep. John Larson PRNewswire

22-24 April, 2000 Tokyo, Japan: At a PALM 2000 Japan-Pacific Island Leaders Meeting, the Prime Minister of Vanuatu, Right Honourable Barak T. Sope, targeted renewable energy and hydrogen power as a way to free their country from the escalating costs of petroleum. Two major studies were completed on the geothermal potential for Efate island and, combined with hydrogen power, this will form the basis of a whole new energy economy for Vanuatu. Following the PALM 2000 Meeting, the Pacific leaders met in Tokyo with electric power representatives over the issue of global warming.

Palau President Kuniwo Nakamura emphasized that the high use of fossil fuels by most of the industrialized nations "is of great concern to South Pacific Forum members and an issue extremely vital to our futures."

Dr. Terepai Maoate, Prime Minister of the Cook Islands said, "The continued reliance on fossil fuels is untenable. Solar, wind and other power sources hold great promise" in the Pacific. He told the Japanese experts that the Pacific Islands are available as "a good test market."

Niue's Premier Sani Lakatani asked for "Japan's guidance and provision of assistance" in solving the global warming threat.

14 April, 2000 Port Vila, Vanuatu: Pacific Sub-regional Consultation Meeting in Preparation for the Ministerial Conference Environment and Development in Asia and the Pacific designates renewable energy, hydrogen based economies as a key focus for the Pacific islands aimed at reducing industrial pollution of the atmosphere by providing a win-win senario for industrial countries. For the full story, visit the UN ESCAP website.

1 January 2000, Noumea, New Caledonia: The Pacific Renewable Energy France-Australia Common Endeavour (PREFACE) begins as a component of the Secretariat for the Pacific Community. "Our approach is to treat renewable energy as a tool to meet the demand for sustainable development and better living conditions rather than just as a power source for rural folks. We believe strongly that the use of renewable energy is a tool for mitigating climate change too. By using solar or wind energy instead of diesel, for example, we will help reduce the fossil-fuel emissions that hasten climate change," Solomone Fifita Coordinator.

28 September 1999, New York: The 22 special session of the UN General Assembly resolved: "Taking into account the dependency of small island developing States on conventional energy sources, there is a need for mobilization of resources from all sources, including from the private sector, for the provision of technical, financial and technological assistance, as appropriate, to small island developing States, to encourage energy efficiency and to accelerate and maximize the development and utilization of environmentally sound renewable energy sources."

25 September 1999, New York: The Third Summit of the Heads of State and Government of the Alliance of Small Island States "expressed concern that adequate, predictable, new and additional financial resources in support of implementation of the POA had not been provided by the international community. They also expressed concern at the overall decline in concessionary financial assistance to small island developing States, noting in particular the decline in official development assistance.  They recalled that the commitment of the international community to support small island developing States made in Barbados was based on their acknowledgement that such joint action was essential for the effective implementation of the POA.  They therefore called on the international community to provide funding for the full implementation of POA. They also urged developed countries to increase their ODA to meet the agreed United Nations target of 0.7% of their GNP.

"The Heads of State and Government of AOSIS affirmed that the issue of climate change remained an urgent, principal concern for small island developing States. They expressed concern that unchecked climate change would have devastating effects on small island developing States, threatening the well-being and the very survival of island communities, and that these effects are being experienced at present in all regions.  Climate change will further undermine the efforts of small island developing States to achieve sustainable development. They therefore asserted that global warming and sea level rise should be given higher priority by the international community. They underscored that the efforts of the developed countries to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases should be strengthened and accelerated.   They also expressed the need for further international assistance for small island developing States to plan for longer-term adaptation to the effects of climate change. They noted that the Kyoto Protocol to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change is a modest first step in the right direction, but that so far only small island developing States had ratified the Protocol. They therefore urgently called on Annex 1 Countries to ratify the Kyoto Protocol. They also undertook to continue cooperation in the search for and promotion of adaptation solutions, through the sharing of information and consultation in relevant fora."

15 September 1999, Aeroe, Denmark:The Global Conference on Renewable Energy Islands (GCREI) was attended by delegates from 34 islands and 22 national, regional and international organisations.

The conference concluded:

  • There is a need for national and regional policies and visions for renewable energy in a sustainable context.
  • Low public awareness of the critical importance renewable energy to sustainable development is lacking, especially amongst politicians.
  • There is a need to strengthen intra- and interregional co-operation among small island states.
  • There is also a need for better consolidation of donor efforts.
  • Institutional frameworks to support renewable energy are needed. On many islands, energy ministries are non-existent, and demonstration projects and other initiatives are too dependent on external expertise and/or individuals, rendering such initiatives non-sustainable.
  • There is a lack of capacity building in terms of human resources as well as of capacity building in organisations.
  • Some renewable energy technologies are more competitive today, yet island experiences often date back to failures of the technology in the 1980s. Hence, there is a need for appropriate and best available technologies.
  • Real costs of fuels and electricity on islands are not reflected in energy prices and tariffs.
  • Lack of financing is often a barrier to renewable energy development on islands.

The conference recommended:

That the following issues and concrete proposals are
taken into consideration by policy and decision-makers at the highest levels, and in particular by the international community in the UN General Assembly Session on Islands, to the United Nations Commission for Sustainable Development (CSD) at its ninth session in 2001, and to the Brussels Symposium on Small Islands in November 1999.

National and Regional Policies:

The Conference calls on all Small Island Developing States (SIDS) governments to adopt an integrated approach to renewable energy policy making and planning.

Renewable Energy at Cabinet Level:

All SIDS Governments should elevate renewable energy management to cabinet level.

Public Awareness:

Outreach initiatives should be taken to raise awareness among the public as well as political decision-makers of the critical importance of renewable energy to sustainable development.

Capacity Building:

Capacity building and training stressing the integral role of renewable energy should be encouraged at all levels. This includes, inter alia, training of relevance to policy development, operation and maintenance, management, and project development.

Co-operation: Secretariat for Renewable Energy Islands:

The Conference appeals to the Danish Government and the European Commission for assistance in setting up a secretariat on Renewable Energy Islands.

The conference notes with appreciation the work of the Forum for Energy and Development (FED) and recommends that it serve as the secretariat. The proposed secretariat should work closely with the Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS) and build on existing institutional structures. The secretariat should meet the needs for intra- and inter-regional and international coordination, cooperation and information dissemination. The secretariat should prepare a strategic communication plan, incorporating SIDSnet, to educate leaders and the public at large on the merits of renewable energy and to place renewable energy on islands at the forefront of international political and public agendas. Information flows on developments in the renewable energy field should be communicated to SIDS rapidly through SIDSnet and other available means. To improve clarity on available technology, best practices and guidelines should be identified.

Specific renewable energy targets for SIDS and its donor communities should be established. Lists of island experts and consultants on renewable energy should be compiled by the secretariat.

Market Development of Renewable Energy:

Recognizing the key contributions of a dynamic private renewable energy sector, the conference calls for the establishment of an enabling policy and regulatory environment for market development of renewable energy.

Entrepreneurship training should be encouraged.

Joint Ventures:

Private sector development should be promoted through mutually beneficial joint ventures between developing and developed countries enterprises.

Innovative Financing Mechanisms:

The development and utilisation of innovative financing mechanisms such as micro-financing should be identified and supported, and the ability of islands to access available sources of funding should be improved.

Clean Development Mechanism:

Recognizing the outcomes of the AOSIS Workshop on Clean Development Mechanisms (CDM) of the Kyoto Protocol to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in the Marshall Islands, the conference urges that CDMs, the World Bank Carbon Fund and other instruments of the UNFCCC should be used for supporting sustainable renewable energy development on SIDS.

Conference Approval of Action Plan:

The conference called for a meeting within the coming year to approve the action plan and the strategies prepared by the secretariat.

Next Annual Session at American Samoa:

The conference notes by acclamation the generous offer of the Governor of American Samoa, the Honorable Tauese Sunia, to host the next annual session of this conference, and pledges to work together with the American Samoan Government to bring this about.


For more information about the conference please contact Mr. Thomas Lynge Jensen: tlj@inforse.org

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