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Niue Pilot Nation For Pacific Energy Project

Niue Becomes Pilot Nation For Pacific Energy Project

By NAZIAH ALI: March 8, 2002 Wansolwara Online (USP)

SUVA (Pasifik Nius): Niue has been chosen as the pilot nation for a three-year plan to provide sustainable energy for Pacific island countries, says a leading environmentalist.

Speaking on climate change and global warming in a public lecture at the University of the South Pacific last night, Tom Roper of the Global Sustainable Energy Island Initiative (GSEII) said renewable energy sources were needed for development.

Small islands could disappear under rising sea levels if the impact of global warming continued at the present rate, he said.

"I believe there will be huge pain and suffering, which is already present," Roper said.

Roper said the Pacific Islands urgently needed the cooperation of developed nations like Australia or the United States to counter this problem.

The objective of the new GSEII plan was to develop energy sources in island states such as wind power, solar thermal plants, photovoltaics, biomass and off-grid wind turbines.

Another objective is to establish funding schemes for large-scale distribution of sustainable energy.

Developed nations such as Australia and the United States contributed most towards greenhouse gas emissions, said Roper.

He said such nations should be playing a more active role in combating the problems linked to rising sea levels.

While many small island developing states produce only a tiny fraction of global greenhouse gas emissions, many that are barely above sea level are among the most vulnerable to climate change.

"We all live in island states, big and small. The vulnerability and fragility of the islands is one of the most important that you have pointed out," Father John Bonato, head of the School of Pure and Applied Sciences, told Roper.

The lecture was one of the first of a series organised by the physics department of the school aimed at educating the public about science and technology.


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