Vice President of Maldives, His Excellency Mr. Abdulla Jihad inaugurated the Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS) Ministerial Meeting on the Initiative for Renewable Island Energy (IRIE). In this ceremony Ministers, international development partners, Non-Government Organizations (NGOs) and representatives from Maldives and AOSIS countries have participated. The (IRIE) Ministerial is structured as a two-day facilitated dialogue. In the inaugural address of Vice President, he emphasized on the crucial role of AOSIS played in concluding the Paris Agreement. He also stressed that now is the time to implement the Paris Agreement and AOSIS countries are already demonstrating it.
Speaking at the ceremony, Minister of Environment and Energy, Honorable Mr. Thoriq Ibrahim said that Small Island Developing States have a unique opportunity to accelerate our sustainable development objectives by transforming the energy systems.
As the Chair of AOSIS, the meeting was initiated by Maldives in partnership with International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA). The primary objective of IRIE is to enhance AOSIS political barriers as they transition their power, transportation, and heating and cooling sectors to renewable energy. Many of these barriers stem from their size, geography and limited capacity. Efforts to overcome these barriers could be enhanced by greater cooperation and knowledge sharing among SIDS, development partners and private sector stakeholders. This enhanced collaboration has the potential to lead to improved economies of scale, reduced transaction costs and better enabling environments for donors and investors.
IRIE is designed to support SIDS in their implementation of the renewable energy and energy efficiency components of their Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs). This will require the further mobilization of financial and technical support within their governments and private sectors.
The Ministerial will culminate in two closing discussions, the first on the vision for SIDS at the next 23rd Conference of the Parties (COP 23) to be held next month in Germany and the second on identifying priorities that will guide IRIE and participating initiatives in the coming year.