Dominica has called upon the world to support its bold initiative to explore geothermal energy as well as similar initiatives in other Small Island States and has given notice of its intent to “not only be carbon-neutral” but to be carbon-negative by the year 2020.
Dominica’s United Nation (UN) Ambassador Vince Henderson incorporated that call and notice in his presentation to the United Nations General Assembly last evening, in New York.
Henderson pointed out that Dominica cannot continue to ignore the subjects of climate change and the country’s current reliance on fossil fuel energy sources and in order that sustainable development be achieved new energy sources must be explored. He thanked the Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS) for the development of the Small Island Developing States (SIDS) Sustainable Energy Initiative, SIDS DOCK
“We believe that climate change is an energy related issue and the provision of reliable, accessible, and affordable are critical to sustainable development and the achievement of the millennium development goals. We must report on actions that have helped position states to transform their energy sectors. Significantly, I refer to the Small Island Developing States (SIDS) Sustainable Energy Initiative SIDS DOCK. Almost 30 SIDS have signed an agreement to establish this initiative created by the Alliance of Small Island States, in partnership with the Government of Denmark and the World Bank,” he said.
Henderson continued, “My delegation expresses its gratitude to the other members of AOSIS for staying the course and reaffirms Dominica’s commitment to this initiative.”
He announced that a collaborative effort from a number of global partners has afforded Dominica the opportunity to explore its geothermal potential, a move which has been in development for a decade.
Henderson remarked, “A sustainable energy sector is the foundation of sustainable development in Small Island States like Dominica. For the past decade, Dominica has been working towards the development of our geothermal potential with the assistance of international agencies and development partners. With the support and contribution of the European Union, the Government of France, the Regional Councils of Guadeloupe and Martinique, we are now closer to the realization of our goal. Preparation for drilling has begun and the three test wells will be complete by the end of this year.”
He reported the island’s intent to use the development of geothermal energy to drive the country’s push to be carbon-neutral and eventually carbon-negative.
“The development of our geothermal potential will provide us with the capacity to meet our domestic needs and supply electricity to our neighboring islands, especially the French territories of Guadeloupe and Martinique through our connections via sub-marine cables. With this displacement of hundreds of megawatts of fossil generated power, coupled with our sustainable development practices, Dominica’s target is not only to be carbon-negative, but also to be carbon-negative by the year 2020,” Henderson affirmed.
He called on other global partners to support the Small Island Developing States with similar energy initiatives that will break their dependence on fossil fuel energy.
“Many SIDS are pursuing their own energy initiatives, however the unsustainable debt burden and the lack of technology have made such initiatives almost impossible for some SIDS. We invite other developed countries and international institutions to join in providing the critical support that SIDS so desperately need. We in the SIDS are committed to playing our part. Suffice it to say that there are still some major obstacles impeding the pace of progress, particularly, financing for SIDS appropriate technology and transfer. Dominica calls on the Secretary General to establish a special SIDA appropriate technology fund to address innovative financing for sustainable energy technology transfer and development for Small Island States and in this regard, consider appointing a Goodwill Ambassador,” Henderson requested.
SIDS DOCK is an initiative among member countries of the Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS) to provide the Small Island Developing States (SIDS) with a collective institutional mechanism to assist them transform their national energy sectors into a catalyst for sustainable economic development and help generate financial resources to address adaptation to climate change.