BOSTON, MA, March 18, 2022 – The United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (“ESCAP”), in partnership with London Economics International LLC (“LEI”) and Frontier Economics, developed a regulatory toolkit guiding strategy for policymakers from small island countries and territories of the Pacific region. This guide offers insight on reducing dependency on fossil fuels and how to transition toward green hydrogen and other zero-emissions fuels. The webinar was designed to build on the foundational material provided in the toolkit earlier in the year and foster further discussion among stakeholders. The March 18, 2022 webinar was attended by PICTs stakeholders from both the public and private sectors.
LEI Managing Consultant Sayad Moudachirou commented on the transition to zero-emission, stating “Small or large, each island and territory of the Pacific faces challenges that are unique to their geographic terrain, available land, political and governmental design, economic conditions and natural resources. However, one common denominator across these countries is their relatively high dependence on fossil fuels. In some places, the transition away from fossil fuels is already occurring in the power sector via the substitution of diesel with hydrotreated vegetable oils (pulling from abundantly available natural resources such as coconuts). However, a full independence from fossil fuels throughout the economy might warrant supplementing biofuels with other feedstock, such as synthetic e-fuels (some of it green hydrogen-based). Adopting these technologies could not only be cost prohibitive, but could also present technical and logistical challenges that might be overwhelming for any individual island. Although there is seldom a regional one-size-fits-all approach to transitioning away from fossil fuels, greater energy connectivity at the regional level would likely help explore synergies, develop use-cases, achieve necessary scale, lower costs and enhance financial support.”
The regulatory toolkit and associated materials are now available on UN ESCAP e-learning platform.