Vanuatu to host next Pacific energy and transport summit

Vanuatu will host the 5th Pacific Regional Energy and Transport Ministers' Meeting in 2022 after the conclusion of the fourth summit in Apia this week. 

The nomination of the next host country was one of 32 outcomes from the week-long 4th regional ministerial meeting, which was dedicated to setting ambitious targets to reduce the region's reliance on fossil fuels and promoting cleaner transport alternatives.

Among other resolutions, Ministerial delegations from across the region also resolved to increase Pacific people's access to electricity and increase the use of sustainable energy. Currently 75 per cent of fossil fuels imported to the Pacific are used by the transport sector but some 64 per cent of the region's population does not have access to electricity. 

Vanuatu's Minister for Climate Change, Bruno Lengkon, put forward the country to take over hosting duties for 2022. 

The country's Legal State Counsel, Lloyd Kikiasi, who spoke on behalf of the Minister, said the country's delegation have been eyeing the opportunity to host the summit the entire week due to their commitment to regional efforts to combat climate change.

"The reason we ask for this opportunity is [because it is] not the first time Vanuatu has hosted regional meetings or even international meetings, so we have the capabilities and we have the infrastructure," he said.

"And fighting climate change is a global and regional effort so Vanuatu together with the Pacific island countries, we stand together as the principle says, we don’t want to leave anyone out of this fight, so we have to keep everyone together and stick together as we target the ambitious targets that we [have] put [out].

"So Vanuatu is very keep to bring every Minister’s back to Vanuatu to hear updates and discuss what are the next outcomes regarding the reduction of the greenhouse gas emissions."

Mr. Kikiasi said Minister Lengkon is particularly excited for Vanuatu to host the regional forum.

"So our Minister, was very [keen] on this, and he even said maybe 2022 he will be the Prime Minister so we hope at the time he will [be] Prime Minister," he said.

"And then if he [gets] through election next year and then you will witness what he proposed in Samoa for hosting the meeting in 2022, so Vanuatu is very happy and we look forward to welcome Pacific Ministers to our country in 2022."

Energy and Transport Ministers from across the Pacific Community (S.P.C.) attended this week's summit including those from: the Cook Islands, Fiji, Kiribati, Niue, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Tokelau and Vanuatu. 

Heads of delegations or senior officials also attended on behalf of Ministers of Energy and/or Transport of American Samoa, Australia, Nauru, New Zealand, Palau, Solomon Islands, Tonga and Tuvalu. 

This meeting was hosted by the Samoa Government in partnership with the S.P.C.. 

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