Austria, UNIDO and the SIDS DOCK establish Sustainable Energy Partnership

Austria, UNIDO and the Small Island Developing States Sustainable Energy Initiative (SIDS DOCK) establish Sustainable Energy Partnership: Establishment of Regional Sustainable Energy Promotion Centres in Caribbean, Indian Ocean, and the Pacific SIDS and to provide support to African SIDS

Vienna 17 March 2014. Photo by Ravindra Wickremasinghe/UNIDO

Vienna 17 March 2014. Photo by Ravindra Wickremasinghe/UNIDO

Vienna, Austria, Monday, 17 March 2014: The Small Island Developing States (SIDS) Sustainable Energy Initiative – SIDS DOCK, the Federal Ministry for European and International Affairs of the Republic of Austria, and the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), announced a historic partnership worth millions of Euros, to establish a network of regional Centres for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency in SIDS. The Government of Austria, through the Austrian Development Agency (ADA), has committed to fund the establishment and first operational phase for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Centres in the Caribbean (CCREEE), Indian Ocean (IOCREEE), and the Pacific (PCREEE), and to provide support to the African islands at the ECOWAS Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (ECREEE).

The signing ceremony took place at UNIDO Head Office, in Vienna, Austria. The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed by Ambassador Michael Linhart, Secretary-General for Foreign Affairs of the Austrian Federal Ministry for Europe, Integration and Foreign Affairs, H.E. Vince Henderson, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary and Permanent Representative of the Commonwealth of Dominica and Chair of the SIDS DOCK Steering Committee, and the Director General of UNIDO, H.E.Dr. Li Yong.

“The Austrian support to the centres can be seen as an important contribution to the UN Secretary-General’s Sustainable Energy For All Initiative and the 2014 International Year of Small Island Developing States,” said Secretary-General Linhart.

“This partnership is a clear indication of the commitment of the Federal Republic of Austria to the sustainable development of the Small Island Developing States.  One of the major areas of cooperation under the agreement is the promotion of the Small Islands Indicative Project Pipeline, with an estimated USD 1.2 billion in potential RE and EE projects at various stages of development. The partners will cooperate to establish the centres, mobilize resources, facilitate partnerships with the private sector aimed at the effective transfer of knowledge, technology and investments, and to put the appropriate institutional framework in place”, said Ambassador Henderson.

Under the Partnership agreement, UNIDO, by virtue of its mandate, becomes the recognised Global Institutional Partner for Small Islands.  UNIDO will assist with promotion of renewable sources of energy and energy efficiency as part of its broader mandate to promote inclusive and sustainable industrial development to create more opportunities for women and the rural poor.

“This memorandum illustrates our recognition of the urgent need to address energy security, energy access for productive uses, and climate change mitigation and adaptation in Small Island Developing States. The centres will boost inclusive and sustainable industrial development and empower the local private sector by creating new jobs and investment opportunities in the energy sector,” said Director General Li Yong.
The new centres will be announced at the Third International Conference on Small Island Developing States which will be held from 1 to 4 September 2014, in Apia, Samoa.