Mr. Wu Hongbo Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs, Secretary-General for the International Conference on Small Island Developing States

Opening Remarks
Renewable Energy Forum

Your Excellency, Honourable Prime Minister Tuilaepa,
Director-General Amin,
Excellencies, Colleagues,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

Let me start by thanking Prime Minister Tuilaepa for addressing the Renewable Energy Forum.  Your personal participation sends a strong signal of Samoa’s leadership and commitment in advancing renewable energy.

Let me also offer a warm welcome to all participants.  Through your engagement in renewable energy, you are helping make our world more sustainable.


Renewable energy stands at the center of global efforts to bring about a transitional shift towards green economies, poverty eradication and sustainable development.

New and renewable sources of energy are now recognized not only as an important and valuable option for energy supply but also as key resources for addressing global challenges, including universal energy access, energy security, and climate change.

Continuing technological advances, lower costs and successful deployment and use of renewable energy systems in many developed and developing countries have demonstrated their potential to satisfy energy requirements. And to replace other energy sources that have more negative impacts.

This technological progress offers tremendous opportunities for SIDS.

But SIDS have not yet fully realized the potentials of renewable energy. Many challenges and barriers remain, including lack of investment funds, and lack of technical assistance and capacity support.

As a result, many SIDS continue to rely  heavily on imported fossil fuels for energy generation in both the stationary power and transport sectors, despite their large renewable energy resources such as solar, wind and geothermal.

This dependence aggravates the social, economic and environmental vulnerabilities of SIDS.  As a consequence, SIDS dependence on fossil fuel imports has been growing, putting a significant strain on their foreign exchange earnings and public finance.

On average, more than 90 percent of energy consumption in SIDS is met through oil imports. This represents up to 20 percent of annual imports of SIDS, accounting for a large share of their foreign exchange earnings.

Their remote location adds to the transport costs. For example, the landed prices of oil products in Pacific SIDS are 200 to 300 percent higher than average international prices.

Transitioning from fossil fuels to renewable energy resources will not only help alleviate these vulnerabilities, but also create decent jobs and opportunities for developing local industries, strengthening SIDS economies.

I am sure this Forum will provide an opportunity to build momentum and strengthen dialogue on policy, technical and entrepreneurial approaches to enhancing the use of renewable energy technologies in SIDS.

The Forum also offers an occasion for participants to exchange views, lessons learned and gain an enhanced understanding of partnership initiatives on renewable energy.

I wish you a successful Forum and fruitful discussions. And I look forward to learning about the outcome of this important event at the Multi-stakeholder Partnership Dialogue on Sustainable Energy this coming Wednesday.

Thank you.