SIDS Lighthouses
Image credit: IRENA

Leaders of small island developing states (SIDS) and development partners recently launched the SIDS Lighthouses 2.0, an initiative that seeks to accelerate energy transformation in SIDS.

The initiative is also aimed at strengthening climate resilience and contributing to the achievement of the sustainable development goals.

SIDS are among the countries listed as the most vulnerable to the effects of climate change and are often heavily dependent on imported fossil fuels for their energy needs.

The SIDS Lighthouses Initiative (LHI) was first launched at the 2014 UN Climate Summit to support SIDS in scaling up renewable energy through partnerships between public institutions, the private sector, inter-governmental and non-governmental organisations.

Coordinated by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), the LHI has supported a rapid growth of renewable energy among the 36 SIDS members of the initiative, where more than 250MW of solar photovoltaic and over 50MW of wind energy came online between 2014 and 2017, and more than $500 million in renewable energy investment mobilised.

IRENA noted that the  official launch of the LHI 2.0 is a unique occasion to reaffirm, at the highest level, the commitment of SIDS and development partners. Read more: Small Island states demonstrate will to tackle climate change

Leading global energy transformation

“Small island developing states are on the frontlines of climate change, and they are also at the forefront of global energy transformation. SIDS governments have demonstrated tremendous leadership in harnessing their renewable energy potential, and the LHI was created to help them reap the benefits of a renewable energy transformation”, said Adnan Z. Amin, IRENA Director-General.

“The SIDS LHI achieved its 2020 targets three years ahead of schedule, creating a tremendous momentum for the SIDS Lighthouses Initiative 2.0 to now take even further.”

The Honourable Gaston Browne, Prime Minister of Antigua and Barbuda, noted: “Global temperatures continue to rise, and hurricanes and drought continue to threaten our livelihoods. It is for this reason why we remain committed to the SIDS Lighthouses Initiative 2.0 and tackling climate change through rapid deployment of resilient renewable energy.”