Small Islands Team Up on Energy

<a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/ben124/6776546804/sizes/m/in/photostream/">Ben124</a>/Flickr


Small island nations are often painted as the victims when it comes to climate change, and for good reason. They’re the most vulnerable to sea level rise, and many have few options when it comes to internally relocating coastal residents. But, determined to play a role in deciding their fate, a group of small island countries have banded together to make their own energy use sustainable.

On Tuesday, 20 small island nations signed the Barbados Declaration, which affirms their commitment to “providing all households with access to modern and affordable renewable energy services, while eradicating poverty, safeguarding the environment and providing new opportunities for sustainable development and economic growth.”

It also affirmed the individual commitments those countries have made. Barbados, for example, has committed to cutting its carbon dioxide emissions 4.5 million tons by 2029. It plans to do so by drawing 29 percent of its energy from renewables and cutting energy use by 22 percent through efficiency measures. Prime Minister Freundel Stuart of Barbados said in a statement that the country believes the effort will also save them $283.5 million in energy costs.

Other island countries also made big commitments. The Maldives reaffirmed its plan to make the energy sector carbon neutral by 2020, which we’ve reported on before. Mauritius plans to to increase its share of renewable energy to at least 35 percent by 2025. And Seychelles plans to produce 15 percent of its energy from renewables by 2030.

Moving to renewables is a priority for small island states, not just because of the climate consequences, but also because their dependence on a fossil fuels is particularly burdensome. Nearly everything runs off imported oil, and have to have all their goods shipped in on giant, oil-guzzling tankers. As a result, they’re more vulnerable to price swings than the rest of us.

More Mother Jones reporting on Climate Desk

TIME IS RUNNING OUT!

We have an ambitious $350,000 online fundraising goal this month and it's truly crunch time: About 15 percent of our yearly online giving usually comes in during the final week of the year, and in "No Cute Headlines or Manipulative BS," we explain why we simply can't afford to come up short right now.

The bottom line: Corporations and powerful people with deep pockets will never sustain the type of journalism Mother Jones exists to do. And advertising or profit-driven ownership groups will never make time-intensive, in-depth reporting viable.

That's why donations big and small make up 74 percent of our budget this year. There is no backup to keep us going, no alternate revenue source, no secret benefactor. If readers don’t donate, we won’t be here. It's that simple.

And if you can help us out with a donation right now, all online gifts will be matched thanks to an incredibly generous matching gift pledge.

payment methods

TIME IS RUNNING OUT!

We have an ambitious $350,000 online fundraising goal this month and it's truly crunch time: About 15 percent of our yearly online giving usually comes in during the final week of the year, and in "No Cute Headlines or Manipulative BS," we explain why we simply can't afford to come up short right now.

The bottom line: Corporations and powerful people with deep pockets will never sustain the type of journalism Mother Jones exists to do. And advertising or profit-driven ownership groups will never make time-intensive, in-depth reporting viable.

That's why donations big and small make up 74 percent of our budget this year. There is no backup to keep us going, no alternate revenue source, no secret benefactor. If readers don’t donate, we won’t be here. It's that simple.

And if you can help us out with a donation right now, all online gifts will be matched thanks to an incredibly generous matching gift pledge.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate