IUCN supports Fiji's energy policy review
05 April 2013 | Article
The Fiji Government is reviewing its 2006 National Energy Policy, aiming to reduce the nation's fuel import bill. IUCN Oceania attended the Fiji Energy Forum on April 3 - 4 as part of consultations to shape the revised policy.
It is recorded that Fiji’s oil import bill had tripled from $400 million in 2004 to $1.2 billion in 2008, as record fuel prices created financial challenges throughout the Pacific.
Fiji's Prime Minister, Voreqe Bainimarama, stated that "Fiji’s shift to sustainable energy supply is critical". The government aims to reduce the nation's vulnerability to imported fuel prices through the review of the nation’s energy policy.
IUCN Oceania and GIZ presented jointly on opportunities for energy efficiency. Using lessons learnt from its demonstration projects in Palau, the Marshall Islands and Samoa, IUCN Oceania emphasised that energy efficiency measures can be cheaper, faster and more environmentally friendly than renewables.
"Energy efficiency is also about changing people's attitudes towards energy use so a good policy would encourage people in the right direction,” says Anare Matakiviti, Energy Programme Coordinator at IUCN Oceania. "If government shows leadership in this area it will be a powerful message".
Energy is a resource that has a relatively high price tag and it is a good example of a commodity that people value, not only in the way it is used, but in where it is sourced from, and how it is handled and made available. Ultimately IUCN Oceania hopes that people will value even 'cheap' resources like water, for which the financial price tag is lower, but is just as important for people and ecosystems.
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